Nashville, Tenn. (March 5, 2020) - In the midst of Ford Military Salute Week, the Nashville Predators Foundation empowered by SmileDirectClub (the "Predators Foundation") announced Thursday that Operation Stand Down Tennessee (OSDTN) - which provides and connects Veterans and their families with comprehensive resources and support - will be the fourth SuperGrant recipient. The SuperGrant will be presented this evening as the Nashville Predators take on the Dallas Stars on Military Appreciation Night.
Founded in 1993, Operation Stand Down Tennessee began as a coalition of volunteers and organizations who came together to serve Nashville's homeless veterans. Today, OSDTN's purpose is to help all veterans in Middle Tennessee manage their personal, career and financial needs while creating a life they find fulfilling. The organization's comprehensive resources are focused on transition, employment, housing, benefits, peer engagement, volunteerism and connection to the community.
With offices in Nashville and Clarksville, OSDTN serves veterans who range from those who have significant needs like homelessness and addiction to those recently transitioning from military service who need career assistance or connection to a like-minded veteran community. In 2019, OSDTN provided resources for nearly 3,000 veterans; OSDTN continues to expand its suite of services designed to meet the changing needs of post-9/11 Veterans and their families.
Thanks to this SuperGrant, Operation Stand Down Tennessee will receive funds devoted to its new Veteran Fellowship Program (VFP). Alongside Belmont University's Jack C. Massey College of Business and local employers, OSDTN is taking veteran career assistance to the next level with VFP - which is a career pathway program for veterans and military spouses that combines business education with experiential employment.
"The Predators Foundation and SmileDirectClub once again show their total support for veterans and the community at large," Operations Stand Down Tennessee's Chief Executive Officer Sol. John G. Krenson, U.S. Army (Retired) said. "Operation Stand Down Tennessee's Veteran Fellowship program increases the future employability of veterans and their spouses and brings tremendous economic impact to Middle Tennessee."
Through VFP, veterans and military spouses will expand their "civilian" work skill set through paid internships, improve "out of uniform" confidence and increase economic mobility. Program participants will serve as turnkey employees for five months, which will offer employer partners the opportunity to better understand veterans' unique skill set and form relationships with vetted candidates for potential full-time employment. Combining on-the-job skills, business management academics and transition programming, VFP creates a holistic approach to career transition for veterans and military spouses.
"SmileDirectClub is honored to support Operation Stand Down Tennessee to help launch its Veteran Fellowship Program," SmileDirectClub Co-Founder Alex Fenkell said. "We understand that when veterans return to civilian life, transitioning their valuable skills into the workforce can be challenging. SmileDirectClub is proud to empower veterans and their spouses with business education and resources to transform their lives and careers."
Introduced this season as a part of the groundbreaking partnership between the Predators Foundation and Nashville-based SmileDirectClub, multiple SuperGrants, which range from $25,000 to $100,000, will be awarded each season to Middle Tennessee community organizations. Funding will be allocated for the purpose of completing large-scale projects in support of empowering lives during times of transition.
Previous SuperGrant Recipients:
- ShowerUp Nashville - Purchased a new truck to tow their larger shower trucks as they practice their mission of building relationships with, restoring the hope and dignity of, and showing love to those in need. Thanks to Two Rivers Ford, ShowerUp was also provided with lifelong maintenance and benefits for their new truck.
- My Friend's House - Devoted funds to completing the new home that is being built for their teen residents and funding the Empowerment Educational Series, a weekly confidence and life skills course that will teach the boys about topics including strong study habits, the dangers of substance abuse, getting and keeping a job and the effects of violence and conflict.
- Thistle Farms - Funded the Ready-Set-Succeed program (RSS), which will expand upon the existing opportunities provided by the Shop at Thistle Farms, the Café at Thistle Farms and the Thistle Farms Global Market. The seven-week job readiness program for Thistle Farms residents is designed to ensure that women affected by severe trauma, as well as the challenges of recovery, violence and incarceration, can get - and keep - high-quality jobs.
About the Nashville Predators Foundation empowered by SmileDirectClub:
The Predators Foundation has partnered with Nashville-based SmileDirectClub in an ongoing effort to meet educational, social, health and cultural needs throughout Nashville and Middle Tennessee. The Predators Foundation is devoted to using its platform and influence from its affiliation with professional sports to serve the needs of the community by offering unique resources and financial support to local youth-oriented organizations. Since its inception in 1998, the Predators Foundation has awarded $6.5 million in grants to the greater Nashville community. During the 2018-19 season alone, the Predators Foundation donated more than $2 million in cash and in-kind gifts. To learn more about the Nashville Predators Foundation empowered by SmileDirectClub and to see a list of upcoming events, visit NashvillePredators.com/Foundation.
About SmileDirectClub, Inc.:
SmileDirectClub, Inc. (Nasdaq: SDC) ("SmileDirectClub") is an oral care company and creator of the first direct-to-consumer medtech platform for teeth straightening, now also offered directly via dentist and orthodontists' offices. Through our cutting-edge teledentistry technology and vertically integrated model, we are revolutionizing the oral care industry, from clear aligner therapy to our affordable, premium oral care product line. SmileDirectClub's mission is to democratize access to affordable and convenient care, unleashing the power of a person's smile to positively impact their place in the world. SmileDirectClub is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and operates in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and Hong Kong. For more information, please visit SmileDirectClub.com.