The princes of tides

It’s a month after the flood. People are starting to forget. That’s natural. Although there are reminders everywhere you look. Empty businesses, empty houses, giant dumpsters filled with the remains of normalcy. The inmates at the Davidson County jail aren’t forgetting. They are on the front lines of Nashville’s recovery every day.

The Sheriff’s Department has a great program that matches low security inmates (guys who may have fallen behind in their child support or forged a check) with nonprofits that need help. The Community Resource Center has used them for years for everything from lawn maintenance to moving us from one building to another.

But I will have to say the flood has been these guys’ finest hours. They saved Nashville. When Nashville’s only remaining water plant was about to be overtaken by the Cumberland, the inmates volunteered to sandbag it.  They worked literally nonstop for a day and a half, in sweltering heat and water lousy with chemicals and debris, to save Nashville’s water. The Tennessean wrote about it. Some of the local TV stations got it wrong. The National Guard showed up, supposedly to sandbag. The TV crews filmed them. But the Guard must have seen that the inmates had it under control. They left. The inmates stayed.

Since then, the inmates have cleaned debris out of houses, delivered emergency supplies and helped us here at the temporary warehouse unload semi trucks full of donations.

One of the guys told me Saturday that some people are fearful when they see the inmates coming.  They assume the inmates are hardened criminals. They’re not. They’re guys who got stuck in bad situations, some of their own doing and some not. They’re guys who really shouldn’t be in jail in the first place if you think about it. The guy who fell behind on his child support? Now he doesn’t have a job and he’ll have a harder time finding one when he gets out.

As Nashville continues to recover you may see the guys in the orange shirts around town. If you get a chance, go shake their hands and say thanks. The mayor already did. Personally. That should tell you a lot.


About CRC Nashville

Who are we? We are literally two chicks - Catherine Mayhew and Betsy Everett, and a warehouse - the Community Resource Center (CRC). In short, CRC is a non-profit organization that provides household goods, furniture, and appliances to people in desperate need. Think of us as Robin Hoods – without the stealing. Catherine is a former journalist and Betsy is a marketing chick. We are both devoted to acquiring stuff – good stuff, no junk – because that’s what our most fragile citizens deserve. If you have metal desks, televisions that don’t work or underwear you don’t want anymore, don’t give it to us. We’ll sneer at you. If you are companies that have excess primo stuff like furniture in good condition, school supplies, personal hygiene items or pretty much anything else, we’ll be your new best friends. For more information: Fan, Follow, and Friend CRC or Join our Cause CRCNashville - Twitter Community Resource Center - Facebook and Myspace Community Resource Center (CRC) - Facebook Cause

2 thoughts on “The princes of tides

  1. As flood victims we are very thankful for all the folks that helped and continue to help us as we work to repair our home. Hopefully, we will be able to return home soon. We miss home.

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