Our readers have been voting over the past month to select a winning Nashville charity for our $5,000 Charity Giveaway sponsored by Papa John’s, and there has been no shortage of support for these incredible organizations! Not only have we been blown away by the outpouring of Nashville’s help in picking a winner, we are endlessly grateful for the opportunity to spread awareness revolving around each charity’s unique mission.

On a chilly November day, we headed to Nissan Stadium for a day of pampering paired with holiday looks modeled by representatives from the six charities that received the most votes. With gorgeous looks from Gus Mayer and Stacey Rhodes Boutique all styled by Meredith Mathis Styling, along with makeup by The Cosmetic Market, you’re sure to find outfit inspiration for holiday events of any caliber.

These women work tirelessly with the goal to provide better lives for those in our community, so we hope this brings you not only some insight into this season’s holiday trends, but also an overwhelming appreciation for local charities and all that they do!

Meet the women of some of Nashville's amazing charities!

Let the fun begin!

Alecia Talbott

Executive Director, Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee

Down Syndrome Association of Middle Tennessee (DSAMT) strives to ensure individuals with Down syndrome are valued for their extraordinary gifts and contributions, empowering them to pursue meaningful, included lives by providing education, advocacy, support and community for people with Down syndrome and their families. DSAMT serves as a resource for educators, healthcare professionals, employers and the entire Middle Tennessee community. 

Alecia says, “Because of DSAMT, parents come to celebrate sooner, children with Down syndrome grow and develop in their natural neighborhoods, and teens and adults learn to have meaningful life experiences just like everyone else. With everything we do, we are teaching people that each and every person has value while making our community a more accepting, inclusive place for everyone to live.”

How do you like to spruce up a little black dress?

“Very simply with earrings and bracelets.”

Meet the women of some of Nashville's amazing charities!

On Alecia, from Gus Mayer: Black lace dress, $405; faux fur jacket, $295; layered necklace, $458; beaded clutch, $135

Anna Williams

Office Manager, Ladies of Charity

Ladies of Charity serves the homeless and less fortunate of the Great Nashville area, providing a food pantry, clothing closet and assistance with paying utility bills for those in need. Their efforts especially come into play during the holiday season, as they donate roughly 600 food boxes to local families.

Anna’s role as the Office Manager of Ladies of Charity is to make sure that each person feels loved and supported. She says, “I love what I do, and to change a life even in a small way is what makes our charity unique.” If you’re wanting to give back, keep an eye out for their thrift store sales that happen twice a year in the spring and fall. All proceeds go directly to Ladies of Charity and their efforts to build a better community. 

What did you love about the holiday dress you wore, or the accessories that went with it?

“I loved it! It made me feel beautiful. I loved the lace and the way it fit. Every girl needs a little back dress!” 

Meet the women of some of Nashville's amazing charities!

On Anna, from Stacey Rhodes Boutique: Black lace sleeveless dress, $98; black and gold chandelier earrings, $219

Anne Martin

Board Vice-Chair, Nashville CARES

Nashville CARES has a mission to end the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Middle Tennessee. They work to achieve this through education, advocacy and support for those at risk for or living with HIV. Anne says, “Nashville CARES provides such important services to Nashvillians living with HIV/AIDS, or to help educate people how to prevent engaging in risky behavior that could lead to HIV/AIDS. The goal of the organization is to put itself out of business and eradicate HIV/AIDS as the health epidemic that it is. I believe that is an attainable goal, and I am proud that my volunteer hours are contributing to those efforts.” If you’re interested in helping in this mission, Nashville CARES has two upcoming fundraisers in 2018 — their Avant Garde event on February 17 and Dining Out for Life on April 18. Be sure to get them on your calendar! 

What did you love about the holiday dress you wore, or the accessories that went with it?

“It fit perfectly and was beautiful and playful all at the same time! I particularly liked the sleeves and how they complemented the rest of the dress.”

Meet the women of some of Nashville's amazing charities!

On Anne, from Gus Mayer: Cold-shoulder dress with red beaded detailing, $520

Beth Scruggs

Founder and Executive Director, Nashville Dolphins

Nashville Dolphins is an aquatics program for children and adults with disabilities. It started 15 years ago with just a handful of swimmers who needed to improve their skills, and today they have over 200 swimmers in their programs. With no cost to participate and no age-out policy, their swimmers range from beginners to skilled swim team members who enjoy year-round exercise, competition and camaraderie with teammates. The Dolphins has over 100 volunteers each year who help with classes, activities and practices, and they rely heavily on the community’s support.

Beth says, “I get so much more back from our swimmers than I could ever give to them. This organization provides opportunities for lifelong friendships, self-confidence and a healthy lifestyle.” Show your support by attending one of their upcoming spring events, Soundwaves & Sweethearts or Boots & Bubbles! 

What did you love about the holiday dress you wore, or the accessories that went with it?

I loved the feathers! So fun and festive!”

Meet the women of some of Nashville's amazing charities!

On Beth, from Gus Mayer: Black feathered gown, $1,260; black sparkle cluster earrings, $155

Kimberly Stevens

Retail Store Manager, Thistle Farms

Thistle Farms makes home and body products, and from the sale of these, they are able to provide women a second chance at life. Their mission is to heal, empower and employ women survivors of trafficking, prostitution and addiction by providing safe and supportive housing, the opportunity for economic independence and a strong community of advocates and partners. Kimberly says, “My favorite part about Thistle Farms is seeing the women come in and transform. They open up like flowers in bloom; they’re gorgeous. Women survivors come in one way and throughout their journey, I see them grow into who they are supposed to be.”

What did you love about the holiday dress you wore, or the accessories that went with it?

“The dress totally was something that I would wear. It was simple but said a lot!”

Meet the women of some of Nashville's amazing charities!

On Kimberly, from Stacey Rhodes Boutique: Black off-the-shoulder dress, $92; silver hoop earrings, $75; beaded tassel necklace, $253

Rachael Wilkins

Director of Development, Safe Haven Family Shelter

For 33 years, Safe Haven Family Shelter has served as the only shelter-to-housing program that accommodates families experiencing homelessness in the Nashville community. By providing critical education, counseling and support for families to depart with employment and housing, they can fulfill their mission to house, support, empower and advocate for families experiencing homelessness. 

Rachael says, “When a father lands that new job, a teenager goes off to university as a first-generation college student, a mother that was sleeping in her car two months ago puts the key into the door of her new home — this is why we exist. I am so proud to be a part of this beautiful organization that has done and continues to do amazing work with a village of volunteers, donors, staff and a board that are passionate about and committed to furthering our mission.” If you’re interested in supporting Safe Haven’s mission, head to their third annual A Taqueria Holiday event on Monday, December 4. 

How do you like to spruce up a little black dress?

“A pop of color always gets attention. My favorite spruce-up for a holiday LBD is with a bright shoe.”

Meet the women of some of Nashville's amazing charities!

On Rachael, from Stacey Rhodes Boutique: Layered pearl necklace with charm, $268; NYC clutch, $365 (dress is her own)

A FINAL LOOK:

Meet the women of some of Nashville's amazing charities!

How lovely do all of these inspiring women look?

Take a look behind the scenes…

Meet the women of some of Nashville's amazing charities!

The ladies of The Cosmetic Market never disappoint with their beauty expertise!

Meet the women of some of Nashville's amazing charities!

Stylist Meredith Mathis always makes sure every detail is in its place.

Meet the women of some of Nashville's amazing charities!

All smiles for — and huge thank you to — Papa John’s, our Charity Giveaway sponsor!

A huge thank you to:

AND THE WINNER IS …

Congratulations to Nashville Dolphins, the winner of the Nashville Charity Giveaway!

*********

For more on what’s going on in Nashville, visit our Happenings page. And for more on the local boutiques that provided these styles, visit our SB Guide or download our FREE SB App.