NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Tina Doniger is the Executive Director and the only employee of the Community Resource Center in Nashville.
“This has always been my life — it has always been finding needs — filling them — connecting people,” said Tina.
Tina and volunteers serve about 300,000 people in Middle Tennessee by supporting more than 100 non-profit agencies on the front lines of poverty. Items distributed to agencies from the CRC’s 5,000 square foot location range from new household goods — personal hygiene items to cleaning supplies.
In early March after tornadoes devastated Middle Tennessee communities, damaging or destroying more than 3500 residences, Tina and volunteers went into tornado mode as Tina had developed a strategic plan to address major disasters like this.
“It was amazing how quickly she got all of those people on the same page so that we could start accepting hundreds and hundreds of pallets of donations but also to get those out to the areas where they were needed,” said Maria Amado, CRC Board of Directors President.
Days after the tornadoes, a huge donation arrived at 7 p.m. on a Saturday night when most volunteers were home.
“She did a Facebook live and marshaled over 100 volunteers to sort and package seven dump trucks full of donations and we were still finished by ten o’clock,” said Maria.
“My husband said it best. I love working, I love business, but he said you thrive in disaster,” said Tina.
By mid-March, the COVID-19 Pandemic made Tina’s focus change to collecting personal protection items for the medical community, first responders, and the Nashville Office of Emergency Management, plus items for the most at risk for COVID-19.
“Things that allow them to cleanse their area, keep them safe and then allow them to have minimal contact if they are leaving the house,” said Tina.
Those relying on CRC supplies are people like Toshya Savell with Friendship Community Church’s food bank serving Mt. Juliet and Old Hickory Residents.
“Tina is a hero because she has been able to give us the resources we need to put in the hands of the community. She’s supplying food, diapers, cleaning supplies, those kinds of things that our families need that are suffering loss from either tornado or job loss right now,” said Toshya.
And to be able to better serve the Middle Tennessee community long-range, Tina recently secured 80,000 square feet of donated warehouse space. That’s because it may be five years before the last March tornado case is cleared, so long term supplies need to be stored.
“This allows us to have columns of diapers columns and rolls of paper towels, cleaning supplies utensils, dishes, so when we think of covering the needs of those 3500 plus families, we can pull on what that long term management looks like and be able to supply those needs,” said Tina.
“Well Tina is my hero every day. She’s just one of those people that when she asks, you want to say yes, and that’s what’s make us successful and that’s what’s helped our community,” said Maria.
“I am just thankful to have the ability to help the people. It’s not about me. It is about a network of churches and pastors and agencies and organizations that do this every day and the moment that people can begin volunteering again, we need it,” said Tina.
So we honor Community Resource Center Executive Director Tina Doniger as our News 2 Gives Back Hometown Hero for the month of April, presented by TriStar Health, for her dedication to helping people devastated by the March tornado outbreak and helping collect and provide personal protective equipment to healthcare workers, first responders and emergency management personnel to protect them against COVID-19.
To learn how you can help Tina and the Community Resource Center, click here.