All About the Habitat for Humanity’s 2016 Women Build

Women Build reception

Even though our company is usually associated with male employees, we’re dedicated to supporting strong women in our community…  After all, we owe all of our success to the strong woman who founded our company, Mary Ellen Sheets!  So we were honored to have our marketer, Jenni, invited to the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville’s 2016 Women Build kick-off reception last week.

At the reception, Jenni and over 100 other guests were able to listen to Ja’Nae, one of last year’s Women Build home recipients, tell her story of working with Habitat for Humanity.  The attendees were also able to meet and chat with the two mothers who are this year’s Women Build home recipients.  “I found their stories so inspiring,” Jenni said after the reception.  “I’m not usually an emotional person, but I was holding back tears!”

Jenni is thrilled about getting involved in the Women Build this year.  As a company, we’ll be contributing to the annual Couture Construction fundraising event in March by helping fill the attendees’ gift bags with pink-themed merchandise.  But Jenni is looking forward to supporting the cause even further by joining one of the Women Build Committees.  “Even though we’re just a small business, the Women Build also needs people who are willing to donate their time, and not just money.  I’m thinking of joining the Build Hospitality Committee so I can meet and support all the volunteers working on the build sites.”

At Two Men and a Truck Nashville, we’ve always been admirers of the Greater Nashville Habitat for Humanity’s work in the community.  We’re all so excited to be partnering with “Habitat Nash” this year to benefit their home recipients!  Most of Habitat Nash’s building projects will take place during the fall and spring months, and we’ll be here to help move as many Habitat families as possible into their brand new homes.

If you’d like to get involved with the 2016 Women Build in Nashville, click here for volunteer information.  If you need information for your personal move, check out our website or give us a call at 615-248-6288!

Marketer Jenni Tallies Up the 2015 “Movers For Mutts” Donations

Movers for Mutts donations

This summer was my first year organizing Nashville’s “Movers for Mutts” campaign.  My goals during Movers for Mutts were to raise awareness of the Nashville Humane Association, and to collect as many donations as possible for the non-profit.  To be honest, I was a little worried about starting the campaign…  If you’ve ever worked in the business world, you know it usually takes a few tries to get a new brand or event off the ground!  But I was definitely not disappointed by our community’s efforts in rallying around this awesome non-profit.

In total, we were able to collect 130 packages of the NHA’s Wish List items, and we had an estimated 300 individuals make monetary contributions to Movers for Mutts!  This is how we pulled it off:

Movers for Mutts kick-off

Phase One:  I knew I wanted to have a big kick-off event to announce the campaign to our Nashville community.  I didn’t want to rent out a facility for the event, because I wanted as much of our resources as possible to actually go to the Nashville Humane Association.  So I talked to the NHA, and they offered to actually bring Teddy’s Wagon to our office parking lot one Saturday!  The NHA also has a great connection to Hunt Brothers Pizza, and Hunt Brothers offered to come out that weekend and make free pizza for everyone who came to the event.  Plus we had five local businesses donate gift baskets for us to raffle off to everyone who brought donations to the event.  I was so excited!

I told our General Manager, Nick, about my wonderfully-brilliant-not-to-mention-ingenius-and-definitely-foolproof plans for the kick-off, and he brought up a really big issue that I’d completely overlooked: We’re a moving company, and Saturday is the most popular day of the week for people to book their moves.  If we held the event on a Saturday, in our parking lot, how would we get the moving trucks out to their jobs?  Whoops.

Fortunately, nearly every manager at Two Men and a Truck Nashville owns rescue pets, and I was able to tug on their heartstrings.  Nick, our Office Manager, and all three of our Move Managers all worked together to reroute our truck traffic around the parking lot for the whole day.  Thanks to their efforts (and the cooperation of our whole moving staff), the event went off without a hitch.

Movers for Mutts collection

Phase Two:  After the kick-off, I planned to collect donations for the NHA throughout the rest of the summer.  But we just have one office, and I knew that it wasn’t convenient for everyone in Davidson County to have to bring donations out to West Nashville.  Fortunately, Nashville is a city of dog-lovers, and a bunch of those dog-lovers own their own businesses.  I asked around town, and we were able to put out collection boxes for donations in 10 different locations around the county.  These businesses let us keep donation boxes in their offices and retail stores for three months until our wrap-up date of September 19th.

Dog Day festival

Phase Three: You may be wondering, why September 19th?  Well, the NHA hosts an annual festival every summer called Dog Day, and we thought Dog Day would be the perfect end for a Movers for Mutts campaign!  I planned to host a Two Men and a Truck booth at the festival so we could keep collecting donations until the very end.  I made a DIY Plink-O game out of one of our wardrobe boxes, and we asked everyone at the festival to make a minimum $1 donation to play.  Every single player was a winner–we brought collapsible water bowls, dog discs, tennis balls, and all kinds of treats to give away as prizes.  In the end, we had over 400 people visit our booth, and about 2/3 of them wanted to make donations!

Overall, I am so happy about everything we were able to collect for the Nashville Humane Association.  I absolutely cannot wait to host Movers for Mutts again next summer!

Need information about our moving services?  Check out our website or give us a call at 615-248-6288!

How to Make a DIY Plinko Game With Moving Boxes

Plinko game

This weekend, we’ll be at the Nashville Humane Association’s annual Dog Day festival in Centennial Park!  The festival takes place on the last day of our Movers for Mutts campaign, and we want to go out with a bang.  So we built a Movers for Mutts Plink-O game for our festival booth.  Anyone who makes a donation of $1 or more to Movers for Mutts will get a chance to win some great prizes from our Plink-O.

But we didn’t just go out and buy a Plink-O board…  We made one out of one of our moving boxes!  And you can make your own DIY Moving Box Plink-O game too.  Here’s how we did it:

Wardrobe boxFirst, you’ll want to collect your materials.  The essentials are a box (I used a wardrobe box, but you can use smaller boxes for smaller games), an Exact-O knife, packing tape, golf pegs, and some sort of disc (I used some leftover round container lids).  If you want to make your game more sturdy and fancy, you’ll want a glue gun and some craft supplies like construction paper, glitter, and paint.

Map out your trianglesNext, you’ll want to start measuring out your peg placement.  It’s important to mark where you want your pegs to pierce the cardboard before you start shaping your game, because right now your box is nice and flat on the floor.  The goal is to have your peg marks form the corners to invisible equilateral triangles.  Decide on the length of each triangle side based on the size of your disc.  You’ll want your disc to be able to fit inside each invisible triangle without having too much extra space around the circumference of the disc.  For my game, I used triangles with 5-in. sides.

Pro Tip: To keep your triangles and peg marks even, cut out the correct sized triangle from another piece of paper or cardboard.  You can move this real triangle around the box to mark its corners with peg marks.

Cut the sides to create a tiltYour third step is cutting an angle into the sides of your box to create a tilt for the Plink-O surface.  To do this, first decide where you want the Plink-O board to begin and end.  (I kept it simple and had my Plink-O game begin at the top crease of the box where the flap begins, and end at the bottom crease where the other flap begins.)  Then measure and mark the center point of the top of your Plink-O board on the side of the box adjacent to your peg marks.  (In my photo above, the peg marks are drawn on the side of the box with our company logo, so the adjacent side is the one with the arrows.)  Trace a line from that midpoint on top, down to the bottom corner touching your Plink-O board.

Perfect!  Now repeat the process with the other side of the box that is adjacent to the Plink-O board.  Draw a line from the midpoint of the top of the adjacent side, down to the bottom corner touching the board.  Then cut out the triangles that are formed by these lines.

Tape three sides of the boxNow you can tape up the back and two sides of your Plink-O game.  Tape the sides just like you’re taping a normal moving box.  The only side that will be taped up differently is your Plink-O board.

Bottom of the boxTape the bottom of your Plink-O board face into the three box sides.  Afterward, you’ll flip the board face up and tape the sides of the board to the diagonal sides of the box.

Taped-together Plink-O gameThis is what your box should look like when you tape the Plink-O face on the sides.  It’s a normal box, except the Plink-O board is tilted so the disc will slide down toward the prizes at the end!

Golf pegsNow you’ll put in your golf pegs.  To do this, I laid my box down on the ground with the Plink-O board face-up.  Since I used a wardrobe box, there were two levels of corrugated cardboard to poke through.  I used the golf peg to first poke through only the initial layer; then I used a hot glue gun to fill this small hole with hot glue before pushing the peg all the way through both levels of cardboard.  I used hot glue to keep the golf pegs super secure, but you won’t need to do this if you’re just using the Plink-O game for indoor fun or one-time use.

Final Plink-O gameFinally, decorate!  I used dog biscuits to line the sides of my Plink-O board so the disc won’t fall out of the pegged area.  You can use anything to border your board, based on the theme of the backyard party or indoor get-together you’re planning.  I also added pictures of our prizes in each of the four landing spots at the bottom of the board, but you can add numbers that represent points or your own versions of prizes.

I made this Plink-O game to help raise awareness for our Movers for Mutts program.  All donations will go directly to the Nashville Humane Association.  Thank you for your support!

Need information about our moving services or packing supplies?  Check out our website or give us a call at 615-248-6288!

Happy Grandparents Day, Nashville!

The Grandma Rule

Part of what I love about working at Two Men and a Truck Nashville is that we are truly a local, community-driven company.  And even though a lot of us aren’t originally from this region, we do have employees who have strong roots in the community.  One of our sales representatives, Brittany, actually has four generations of her family who were born, raised, and still live in Nashville.  She’s always telling us stories about growing up in the neighborhood between Belmont University and Edge Hill Village with her family, so I wanted to spend Grandparents Day (September 13) honoring her grandparents and their story.

When we have free time to talk in the office, Brittany loves telling us about her grandmother, “Granny.”  “She’s the rock of the family…  She’s a superhero,” Brittany tells me.  “I tell her she was born to be nice because her name, Mary, is from the Bible.”

And Mary definitely lives up to her reputation for being nice!  Brittany tells me that all the kids she went to school with still call her “Granny,” and all of their children call her “Gigi” (Great-Grandmother), because she acts like the grandmother of her whole neighborhood.  “She’s always at Fall Hamilton Elementary, helping out with Field Day, for Grandparents’ Day…  And she’s a great cook.  She cooks and bakes for everybody.”

Mary also had a great partner in her husband, Jimmy, who served as a maintenance supervisor for fifty years in local apartment complexes.  “One day, the mother of my friend Jonathan had her air conditioning unit go out.  She knew Jimmy worked in maintenance, so she walked over to Granny and Jimmy’s house and asked if he would mind taking a look at it for her.  To this day, Jonathan still talks to me about how much he appreciates Granny and Jimmy’s help over the years,” Brittany tells me.  Her eyes are starting to frost over with tears as she remembers her grandfather.  “When I got my first apartment, I could tell everything that needed to be fixed because he taught me so much growing up.  Things needed to be re-caulked, the sink’s edge needed replacing, and there was something wrong with the drywall.”  Her grandfather told her she was too good for the apartment, “but I told him that I had to start somewhere.”

Now Brittany works with us at Two Men and a Truck Nashville, and she receives calls from people moving from apartment complexes where her grandfather used to work.  “I talked to someone just yesterday from Western Hills Apartments who remembered Jimmy,” she recalls.

Listening to the story of Brittany’s grandparents, I realize just how connected we are as a company to this community.  Brittany, one of the third generation of her family to grow up in Nashville, shares a special connection to our apartment-dwelling customers who knew her late grandfather.  She also shares a connection with all of our customers who have benefited from her grandmother’s involvement in their children’s school.  And we’re able to give back to every one of those customers with not just our moving services, but our involvement with non-profits like Safe Haven, the Nashville Humane Association, and Habitat for Humanity.  I’m thinking about this circle, and Brittany brings my thoughts back to her grandparents: “They’re really leaving their legacy here in Nashville.”  I hope we’re able to follow their example.

Grandma Rule

What It’s Like to Work at Two Men and a Truck Nashville

Stephen and JeffIf you live in Nashville, chances are, you know someone who’s moved recently.  Even though Real Estate Season is officially over, analysts have reported that the Nashville market is still going strong!  And whether you’ve had good or bad experiences with moving companies in the past, we wanted to show you what it’s like to work as a Two Men and a Truck Nashville mover.

As Nashville’s largest franchised moving company, we generally keep 30-40 men on our moving staff at a time.  Unlike most moving companies in town, all of our men are employed full-time, and they’re required to pass a surprise drug test during their interview and a background check afterward to be on our team.  And that’s not all.  One of our Move Managers, Keith, says, “Between the random spot checks, our customers’ reply cards, and the accountability on the men to pay out for their damages, the office knows the movers are all doing a good job.”  However, the moving teams are still able to maintain a sense of autonomy out in the field.  Stephen Y., the mover on the right in the above picture, says, “We’re kind of our own bosses.  We’re not micromanaged.”

As a skinny girl who gets to sit in our air-conditioned office all day, I’ve always respected our movers who lift heavy furniture in the sun all day.  I asked some of our team why they’ve continued working such a difficult job for months, or even years.  Jeff, Stephen Y.’s partner on the left, tells me, “I enjoy the physical labor, and most of our customers are great.”  Stephen Y. adds, “We also just don’t have a good reason to leave.  We make good money, we appreciate the value of hard work, and I personally don’t like to quit things.”

So what about all the stereotypes that float around about the moving industry?  We have plenty of movers who come to work for us after working for other moving companies, and we’ve heard all the horror stories from them about safety concerns, careless movers, and worse from their former employers.  Stephen Y. tells me that Two Men and a Truck Nashville is able to avoid these horror stories by “holding us accountable for damages, keeping GPS tracking on the trucks, making us pay for lost safety equipment, and communicating with the customers several times during the move.  We aren’t able to be careless or lazy.”

Stephen Moving

Even if you don’t have a negative view of the moving industry, you may be wondering why our movers like working at a (seemingly) dead-end job.  We get asked all the time if there’s opportunity for our men to move up in the company.  I always point to our Move Managers, Keith and Stephen S.  Stephen S. describes his time with the company by telling me, “I started here as a mover over a year ago.  I found the job on Craigslist, and I stayed with the company because of the money and opportunity.  I kept moving up in the company to become a Driver, then a Driver Lead, and then a Move Supervisor.”  Now, Stephen S. shares managerial duties with Keith, and he encourages the moving team to stay disciplined to earn their promotions with the company.

Are you interested in working as a mover for Two Men and a Truck Nashville?  Call us at 615-248-6288 for employment information, or stop in to apply.

How Does a Moving Company Spend Labor Day Weekend?

movers

Sometimes when you think about a company, it’s hard to imagine the people actually answering the phone when you call or the home lives of the people who come out to service your home.  Have you ever wondered what the employees of Two Men and a Truck Nashville do over a holiday weekend?

NickOur Office Manager, Nick, loves hosting pool parties at his new home.  He and his wife are inviting lots of extended family and some of their friends from high school, along with all of their children, over for some swimming, grilling, and kid movies.  Before the big Labor Day celebration, he’s planning to take his wife out to a nice Saturday dinner-and-a-movie date night.  I asked him where they usually go to dinner, and he told me, “My wife usually likes to go to one of the restaurants downtown or in the Gulch…but if I had it my way, we’d go get fried chicken at Buffalo Wild Wings.”

DonaldOur Office Manager, Donald, is also having some family into town–his brother-in-law who just happens to be a rocket scientist working for NASA!  Donald and his wife are excited to celebrate his brother-in-law’s 30th birthday over the weekend by grilling out and taking their dogs to play at the Shelby Bottoms dog park.  Donald is also planning to put together his all-important Fantasy Football teams.

Stephen MovingStephen, one of our Move Managers, will be spending his Labor Day weekend the way most of us will–relaxing with his family.  He has a 6-month old son that he and his wife love spending time with.  His wife likes reading to their son, and Stephen’s favorite game is the Airplane Game.  “It makes him laugh hysterically,” Stephen told me.  They’ll also grill out for Labor Day to make some shrimp, corn-on-the-cob, zucchini, and squash.  Yumm.

officeFinally, I asked our two sales representatives about their plans.  Schuronda is helping out at her cousin’s wedding on Monday.  “She’s having the wedding on her late father’s birthday,” she told me.  And Brittany is excited for her church’s “Gospel Explosion” banquet, where special guest gospel singers will be visiting from other churches in the area.

Thanks for sharing our Labor Day weekend with us!  We’ll be back in the office and on the road on Tuesday the 8th.