With the Internet being global, we are fortunate enough to have users from all around the world, which makes our physical location a non-factor for our SaaS. This week however, our location suddenly did matter, as a very large portion of the city we live and operate in was suddenly under water. Raven is located in Nashville, Tennessee, where in a matter of 48 hours, large portions of our city were completely inundated with water from the Cumberland River and its tributaries. Our office sustained some damage, two of my co-workers are temporarily homeless, and at the end of the day, there appears to be more homes with water in them, than not.
But out of all of the tragedy, there are absolutely amazing stories of community, and a city that refuses to give up. On Monday when a levee threatened to break and wash out an entire section of the city, 250 people mobilized in a single hour via Twitter to sandbag the area to protect it from further damage. Local businesses have begun using paper/plastic until our mandatory water conservation lifts (one business even had water trucked in out of county to serve!). Stranger helping stranger. Neighbor helping neighbor.
Working with nonprofits is something that is near and dear to my heart, and there are two here in town that are doing absolutely phenomenal work and need to be applauded. Their tireless efforts are helping to organize volunteer efforts, and collect monetary donations that will stay in our community to help those who have lost everything – most of whom have zero flood insurance.
Hands On Nashville is leading the volunteer efforts here, and are doing an amazing job. In a matter of hours, they’ve been able to set up a portal for those in need to request volunteers and for those wanting to volunteer a place to find the biggest need. With one central portal, the entire area is able to rally around our neighbors and get prompt help to those in need in an extremely organized and streamlined fashion. Major, major kudos go out to HoN for spearheading the efforts to quickly get this city back on it’s feet.
As word begins to make it around the world of the tragedy here in Nashville, people from all corners are asking “how can I help?” While organizations like the Red Cross and the Salvation Army do amazing work nationwide, there are smaller organizations working within communities to collect donations and distribute funds into the immediate area. The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has mobilized to take monetary donations for flood relief that will 100% stay in our local community. It’s comforting knowing that any donations given through this organization will go right back into the community it was intended for.
It has been a long week for those of us here in Nashville, and the cleanup will go on for the weeks and months to come. We at Raven are so grateful to work and live in such an amazing community of good neighbors and caring people. We know there are plenty of organizations in other communities doing great work every day that are under the radar. If there’s an organization in your area that you love, be sure to nominate them for our Nonprofit Jumpstart program. We want to give back to those who serve us in our cities every single day. From all of us here, a million thanks go out to those of you who are tirelessly giving back to make sure that Nashville gets back on its feet, and becomes even better than it was before the rains came.