Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Volunteer Spotlight: Bryan Byrd

'Show up and smile,' says Byran Byrd, shown emceeing a Bids & Blues drive-thru fundraiser at BRCC last year. 'Show up and smile,' says Byran Byrd, shown emceeing a Bids & Blues drive-thru fundraiser at BRCC last year.

Byan Byrd

What do you do in your volunteer job?

I am currently vice-chair of the board for Thrive and my primary function is to assist the current chair, facilitate board meetings as needed, and prepare for the role of chair in the coming year.
I also serve on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee where our focus is on asking tough questions of ourselves in order to provide services and opportunities, as an organization and a board, equitably across the communities we serve.
When not in the “boardroom” the most important job of any non-profit board member is to advocate and promote the organization out in the community. This includes fundraising and volunteer recruitment. However, it also can be as simple as having mission driven conversations within your circles of influence.

How long have you been volunteering?

I started volunteering for Thrive in 2018 as emcee for the annual Bids & Blues fundraising event and joined the board the following year in the summer of 2019, shortly after completing the United Way’s Rising Leader program. This past October, Thrive celebrated its 10th Bids & Blues as an outdoor event at Point Lookout Vineyards.
My mother has been a non-profit development executive her entire career and is currently Development Director for a Habitat for Humanity affiliate in East Tennessee. So, I can say that volunteering is in my DNA and that showing up to benefit others was taught to me at an early age.

Why do you volunteer?

We are given time, energy, and talents so that we can give them away freely for the benefit of our community. My initial motivation to support Thrive was based on the idea of ending stigmas related to mental health so that we can have productive dialogues in our homes and neighborhoods. In my career as a realtor, I am motivated to do whatever I can, whenever I can, for as long as I can to promote housing stability. The ways that Thrive seeks to address both mental health and housing stability continues to amaze and inspire me.

What’s the best thing about volunteering?

That anyone can do it. No matter your skills or abilities there are organizations in your community that can benefit from your enthusiasm. Find one that interests you and I guarantee your life will change for the better.

If someone is interested in volunteering, what is the best advice you would give based on your own experience?

Show up and smile. The rest will work itself out.
We are blessed with numerous non-profits and civic organizations that can provide you with opportunities to be a part of something bigger than yourself, meet fascinating people, and contribute to something that you are enthusiastic about.
Just show up and smile.