NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Start by thinking of the Nashville Neighbor’s Fund as a giant pool of donations organized by The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and NewsChannel5.
Amy Fair is the VP of Donor Services with the CFMT and says they’ve raised more than $350,000.
“It wasn’t just with one big check. It wasn’t some company that came in to give up huge sums of money, but it was the whole community coming together to support them,” Fair said.
All this week, Bart Durham Injury Law has also agreed to match your gift dollar-for-dollar, up to $15,000. The match will be added automatically to your donation.
Immediate needs such as food, shelter, financial assistance were addressed by the American Red Cross of Tennessee, Community Resource Center, Salvation Army-Nashville Area Command and Conexion Americas. These groups can now use grants made possible by the Nashville Neighbor’s Fund to help pay for their efforts so far.
Survivors of the blast can also apply for immediate relief here at Nashville Strong 2021.
Catholic Charities Diocese of Nashville is managing the more than 180 applications filed.
Fair says more than 400 residents living on or near 2nd Avenue were displaced as a result of the Christmas Day bomb and another 1,200 employees were left without jobs.
At Doc Holliday's Saloon, Whitney Gabriel is returning to work for the first time in three weeks since the bombing. Many of her colleagues at nearby bars are waiting to reopen their doors and Gabriel understands it won't be easy.
"With every traumatic experience that happens in Nashville, we're real quick to bond together. Unfortunately at this time, it's a little bit harder," Gabriel said.
Gabriel was fortunate to have limited damage at her bar, so she's hoping to take advantage of the return to foot traffic between Broadway and Commerce Street.
No matter how you show your support, Gabriel says we all need to take ownership in our community. That could mean stopping by for a drink and checking out the nearby shops still open or donating to the nonprofits making an impact every day.
"We're a little more grateful for (the support) now. This past year has really made us appreciate one another," Gabriel said.
For more long-term relief, residents and employees are also being offered mental health resources, as well as free legal assistance through the following:
- Nashville Bar Association
- Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services
- Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee
- Tennessee Bar Association
Donations to the Nashville Neighbor’s Fund will also complement funding from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim Assistance Grant Program.
This group primarily focuses on support such as rent and utility payments, food assistance and counseling. CFMT can help with mortgage assistance, whereas VOCA cannot.
You can click here for more information on unemployment benefits assistance and job listings.