Amanda Grieves was born and raised in Chicago, IL and along the beautiful coast of Maine. At the age of 18, piled everything she owned in the back of her vehicle and moved to Nashville; living out of her car for awhile. After a handful of years serving as a travel consultant and in employee relations for a corporation here in Nashville, Amanda jumped into the non-profit sector and was hired as the Human Resources Manager/Volunteer Services Director at The Salvation Army. Then in 2008, Amanda switched up roles a bit and continued as the HR Manager but also became the Social Media Manager. Since 2005, Amanda has also served as coordinator for the Angel Tree program, which includes managing all logistics, contracts and day to day activities as they pertain to the registering of families, data entry, processing of tags for the malls, delivery of gifts, sorting/organizing of gifts and distribution. In 2008 was named “Top 10 Unsung Hero” in The Salvation Army’s monthly publication, “Southern Spirit” and in the same publication was featured in an article pertaining to the uses of Social Media within “The Army” in 2010. And a song penned by Amanda “Others” is featured on The Salvation Army’s website in Nashville as a free download.
In May of 2009, Amanda was offered the opportunity to be a columnist for a start up paper called the Good News Paper which is now nearing its 2nd year in publication. Amanda also writes for Examiner.com, which reaches 238 markets here in the US and Canada. Amanda has also been a contributor for Working Mother Magazine.
Q: Do I have to give money to help others?
A: No, we consider it a blessing at The Salvation Army to receive not only your treasure but your time and talent as well. We could not do what we do without an “Army” of volunteers to stand alongside us and help us serve those who seek assistance. We have so many ways for individuals, families, corporate, church and civic groups to plug in and give back by way of their precious donation of time and by lending their amazing skills to the cause.
Q: What do people need most for the holidays?
A: Through our Angel Tree program, we will serve thousands of children and senior citizens who seek various items such as clothing, shoes, coats and house hold items. Many families are in need of food as well and this is provided through our Christmas assistance as well as via our Emergency Services Center and our Thanksgiving and Christmas meals that are served. We are always grateful for donations of non perishable food items that we can stock in our food pantry to meet the growing need of hungry families within our community.
Q: What is the angel tree program and how can I get involved?
A: The Angel Tree program was founded in 1979 by Lt. Cols. Charles and Shirley White in Lynchburg, VA. The Whites wanted to take their Christmas efforts to another level and meet a greater need as it affects children within the local area. Mrs White as she shopped in a local Hallmark store came across a card with 3 angels across the cover and from there an idea was birthed! She thought, why not add the names of children to each angel along with a need and wish so that shoppers could experience a more personal way to give back and provide a need. It was a huge success and in 1982, the Angel Tree program was introduced to Nashville, TN with WSM as the first sponsor. The Whites were featured that year on Nightline with Ted Koppel and Larry King’s Live radio program.
The Angel Tree program celebrates it’s 29th year here in Nashville and every year thousands of children and senior citizens have a brighter Christmas because of the communities generosity.
There are many ways to give back this Christmas season. We are always looking for folks who can assist in area malls with the adoption of angels, as well as working in our Christmas warehouse sorting and organizing the gifts that have come in. We also offer two outreach feeding programs on Tuesday mornings and Friday nights where you can join us as we serve a freshly prepared meal to our “street family.” For more information on volunteer opportunities, please contact Misty Ratcliff at 416-3175 or firstname.lastname@example.org and she ill be happy to get you started!
Q: Where can I find other ways to help others?
A: The Salvation Army offers countless ways to give back but you can also serve others by simply loving them for who they are and where they are. Smiling at people on the street, holding doors open, allowing cars in front of you as you drive on the interstate. We can encourage people around us, compliment them and let them know how amazing they are. We can send special notes to someone we haven’t spoken to in awhile or pick up the phone and surprise them with our voice. We can make amends with those who may have hurt us or whom we have hurt. We can seek forgiveness and in others, forgive. And above all else we can offer grace, compassion and mercy to every single person that crosses our path just as God has done by the sacrifice of his son Jesus and will continue to do for us. Let’s see other’s through God’s eyes and in each day, ask God to reveal to you, “what can I do today that would bring glory to you and bless someone today.” I guarantee, one opportunity after another will appear and you will have numerous ways before you to help others.