So it looks like the RWA National Convention won’t be in Nashville. Folks have been informed that their reservations at the Gaylord Opryland have been cancelled, and RWA National is working on potential new locations – so don’t be calling the travel agent or anyone else for that matter. We’ll hear eventually.
While I totally understand that it’s impossible to hold a convention in a flood-ravaged city, I had hoped to spend a few bar-drenched dollars in Nashville to help the city recover. I can’t even imagine how many jobs the Gaylord’s closing alone will affect, much less the museums, libraries, and other businesses downtown that are now temporarily part of the Cumberland River.
So, how can you help? Let’s start:
The Nashville Red Cross is operating several shelters around the Nashville area. And you can donate via text message, if you want.
At Hands On Nashville, you can sign up for volunteer opportunities – once the site is back online, anyway.
According to the Nashville Business Journal, every Kroger in Middle Tennessee is accepting food donations and supporting the Second Harvest of Middle Tennessee food bank’s relief efforts.
The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee has a pile of options for donation and assistance.
Eventually we’ll hear where RWA National will be – and it’s not like it’s tomorrow so we can wait to hear. There are three other Gaylord properties so if, as the Gaylord email stated, they will attempt to reschedule the Opryland conferences to other Gaylord hotels, we could end up in Florida, Texas, or Maryland – which is all fine by me. It’ll be fun wherever it is.
But right now, Nashville is reeling, from both loss of life and property, and a the damage of lost tourism for months ahead. This was totally unpredictable and no one could have forseen this would happen.
Are you in Nashville or near by? What’s going on near you? Hope you and yours are ok.
ETA: One more thing you can do: not call RWA. Seriously. If you are holding the phone in your hand intent on calling to yell as to why you heard from the hotel before hearing from RWA about the 2010 conference, please do the following. Put the phone down. Fill your home with 10 feet of river water. Then see if that’s what you want to shriek about. Honestly.
I was really bothered at the statement released by RWA’s executive director criticizing the decision of the hotel to cancel reservations without notifying the conference organization. I found it to be unnecessarily critical given how much disaster Nashville is dealing with.
But come on now. RWA has updated their site, emailed every member, and communicated as fast as they can. If you’re calling RWA to yell at them because you don’t know where you’re going… in July? I got some suggestions where you can go. Starting with to the nearest river. To get ten feet of water. To put in your home. Here’s a bucket.