H&R Block franchise community gives back to Nashville

October 30, 2018 : Sharita Hutton

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” For thousands of H&R Block franchise owners it’s a saying that rings true as they work together to change the lives for so many in the Nashville community.

More than 2,000 franchise owners are in Nashville for their yearly convention, but talking taxes is not the only focus. Instead, the group found time to step away from meetings to give back to Nashville. From packing meals, to gathering gloves and handwarmers for veterans, to making sure kids in the area have what they need to stay healthy and happy, the group has found a way to reach the masses.

“Giving back to the community has been part H&R Block since Henry and Richard started the brand 63 years ago,” said Karen Orosco, senior vice president of H&R Block’s retail business. “That’s why we exist, to inspire confidence in our clients and communities everywhere and there is nothing more confidence inspiring than watching 2,000 people help a community.”

From kids to families to veterans, it took just hours for the group to make a big difference for four area organizations.

Gallatin CARES

Starting in the 1980s, Gallatin CARES  serves nearly 2,000 people each month with their food pantry and another several hundred people through their thrift shop.

“We believe that the best way to tend to the needs of our underserved is to bring the local community together,” said Blake Parks, Executive Director for Gallatin CARES. “When you are taking care of your own, there is more ownership and responsibility. While nothing is wrong with sending our resources around the world, we have enormous need right here in our own communities.”

Trying to help fill that need, franchisees packed more than 700 bags of groceries that went to local families in need. The lines at Gallatin High School started growing hours before the distribution was set to start, with each family receiving one bag of canned food and a bag of boxed food items. In all, nearly 350 families were served in just one night.

“We are obviously blown away by the fact that H&R Block would have the heart to participate in this project,” said Parks. “The mere fact that a group of team members, attending a convention, would spend a valuable part of their agenda serving the needy, speaks volumes about the culture of H&R Block.”

Nashville Rescue Mission

Nashville Rescue Mission first opened their doors in the 1950s. Today they serve close to 800 men, women, and children every single day in addition to serving 1,800 meals.

The Mission provides food, safe shelter, and clothing to those in need, as well as offering support and long-term assistance for those struggling with homelessness, addictions, and other life-debilitating problems.

“It really takes the whole community to care for our homeless, hungry, and hurting,” said Cheryl Chunn, Director of Major Gifts for the Nashville Rescue Mission. “Our corporate partners are so important to us as we couldn’t do the work we do to serve the number of people on two campuses every day. We are here 24/7, 365 days of the year. All our volunteers are critical to us.”

Boys and Girls Club

Boys and Girls Club of greater Nashville serves nearly 4,000 of the area’s youth. Teaching kids about academic success and how to be good person in the community are just some of the lessons on which the Boys and Girls Club focuses. In addition to those lessons, there are other valuable messages being taught such as the importance of good hygiene. But, the reality is not everyone has access to the items needed.

That is why H&R Block put together more than 2,000 toiletry kits for the area youth full of things like toothpaste, shampoo, deodorant, bubble bath and much more.

“Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee is beyond grateful to team up with H&R Block to ensure our local Club members lead a healthy and productive life,” said Dan Jernigan, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Middle Tennessee. “For many Club youth, access to essential hygiene products is hard to come by. H&R Block is eliminating a critical barrier for our young people. “

Operation Stand Down Tennessee

With the cold winter months fast approaching the focus is turning. How to keep warm those without a roof over their heads becomes more and more critical. That is where H&R Block stepped in, gathering thousands of gloves and handwarmers for homeless veterans in the Nashville area.

The donation items will assist Operation Stand Down Tennessee in its efforts to help veterans in the area, many of whom have fallen on hard times.

“When the community comes together to support a nonprofit they are making a statement,” said John Krenson, CEO of Operation Stand Down Nashville. “H&R Block coming together to support us is a reflection of their corporate values and their stewardship. When our team and the veterans we serve see a leader such as H&R Block, and the team that represents them, step up in this way, it energizes us and keeps our own passion for service burning.”

And the passion to help others going is something that H&R Block is committed to continue in communities all over the United States.

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Sharita Hutton

Sharita Hutton

Newsroom Anchor

Sharita Hutton started at H&R Block for tax season 2013 and serves as lead anchor for the H&R Block newsroom. Before joining H&R Block, Hutton was a local broadcast reporter and anchor for several of Kansas City’s news channels. A former college basketball player, Hutton loves spending time coaching her two children in all of their athletic endeavors.

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