Despite being in a pandemic, Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month, Frannie Martin, keeps doing what she can to help support the lives of youth with the Oasis Center in Middle Tennessee. “We (Oasis Center) still take donations such as food, clothing, or whatever we are needing at the moment. The youth who we serve still have lots and lots of needs,” says Martin. The Oasis Center offers a wide variety of services to children and young adults in the area including crisis intervention, emergency shelter, and counseling. “All of our young people are one crisis away from being homeless or worse, and seeing the youth who didn’t (have a support system), really spoke to me,” says Martin, “And, I love the fact that Oasis Center is cutting edge on working with them.”
Growing up in St. Louis, MO, Martin had the experience of volunteering with her high school early on. “I think I was very fortunate in a lot of ways, such as going to a school where service was a big part of the curriculum. It really had a big impact on me.” Martin volunteered with several schools and hospitals in the St. Louis area for years before moving to Nashville. Once relocated, Martin spent her time volunteering at a probation program, before becoming a case manager and volunteer coordinator at a non-profit with juvenile court.
“That really got me to where I am now (which was) reviewing cases of teenagers who were in foster care and aging out, with no skills, no preparation, and no support,” says Martin, “It was a terrible thing having to watch over and over again that the system didn’t prepare these young people to be on their own.” Martin has been involved with the Oasis Center for over twelve years now, initially serving two terms on the board of directors while volunteering hands-on at the same time. “I am constantly amazed by the people I meet, the youth I interact with, and the staff I work with,” says Martin, “Those relationships are important to me as I learn so much from everyone.”
Even though challenges have arisen over the years such as staff changes and the COVID-19 pandemic, Martin stays determined to keep volunteering. “It just keeps me going, and I feel I have gotten so much out of it personally and grown so much as a person. I really can’t imagine not doing it (volunteering) at this point,” says Martin, “It’s always been a part of my life, and I hope other people around me are inspired to volunteer as well.”
Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month celebrates all volunteers. Some serve periodically while others, like Frannie, are dedicating their lives to service. All are equally important to Doing Good, the local nonprofit behind Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month. To nominate someone for this or another recognition, email [email protected] or visit www.doinggood.tv.
Doing Good, a 501c3 nonprofit, provides marketing and public relations tools and opportunities to nonprofit and government agencies. www.doinggood.tv