project leader
Tk B
941 Robinhood Lane
(Sherwood Forest, Memphis, TN)
latest update rss
Not in Nottingham! The Final Push

the project

On Wednesday, August 9, 2023, straight-line winds and golfball size hail arrived in Memphis, TN with a summer storm and seemed to target this little University District neighborhood, sparing the rest of the city.  Six minutes later, dozens of houses were damaged- six, flatted almost entirely.  Very few people were home there, in the middle of a workday in this working class community, so thankfully nobody was injured or worse.  But in those few moments, the neighborhood with the word "Forest" right there in its name was suddenly cleared of dozens of hundred year old hardwoods, ripped from the ground and slamming down onto the houses and cars and fences of neighbors who are struggling to recover financially.  Homeowners were shocked to discover they're paying the highest deductibles in history, and renters were shocked to discover that while their landlords are insured and repairs are moving along, their personal property losses, even if insured, are unaddressed yet the debt they still owe for cars and big ticket items often financed remains.

We begin our efforts to make these neighbors whole with a fundraiser concert on Saturday, August 26th, 7pm-midnight at Hi Tone, 282-84 N Cleveland, Memphis, TN 38103.  Tickets are $20 and may be purchased by following this link:

We hope to see you there!  

UDistrict INC, our area's 501c3 community development corporation, will serve as contractor for all repairs and pay for services directly, and applicants for assistance will be vetted for financial need and all repairs, verified.  

Any monies raised in excess of immediate need for assisting Sherwood residents with storm recovery will be banked for the next natural disaster in our area and fund equipment for the University District Community Emergency Response Team, so we may continue to rise and come to the aid of our neighbors in the future.   

the steps

1. Host benefit concert on August 26, kick off campaign.

2. Quantify the exact need.  For several weeks after a natural disaster, residents continue to discover damage that is only evident after various stages of clean-up progress is made.  We anticipate more residents than we even know of right now will need some level of assistance.  

3. Recruit a labor team among neighbors.  Create a phone tree to call this team into action on clearing fences or hauling debris curbside or even using chainsaws to make larger limbs small enough to carry.  

4. Call on each impacted resident, asking for their non-covered expenses estimates.  Prioritize repairs according to public and household safety.  

5. Arrange subcontractors for small jobs not covered by insurance for means-tested applicants. 

6. Allocate funding according to number of applicants, severity of damage and amount of money raised.

7. Cut checks for grocery loss for all applicants after construction projects are funded and in progress.   

why we're doing it

The University Planning District is located in the geographic center of Memphis and its neighborhoods reflect perfectly the "Memphis Median" in every possible demographic and financial category.  Just like Memphis, we are a "checkerboard" of neighborhood types, with areas "south of the railroad tracks" being more affordable housing and home to service industry workers.  It is in this area 'south of the tracks,' where median household income is lowest and seven out of ten houses are rentals with no renters insurance, where all the storm damage occurred.  We are compelled by human empathy to help the neighbors who need our help the most.  These neighbors are always the first to volunteer for community service projects.  They are engaged citizens who participate in every process presented and every person we're helping would absolutely show up to help any other University District resident who needed them.  We are unified as a planning district and we take care of each other, always.  


Final budget


Home repair/replacement of goods $2,000 for one household with total loss.  

Vehicle replacements $1,840 for 3 households- $500 for truck total loss, $500 for car total loss, $500 for car total loss and $340 for windshield- last two in the same driveway.  

TOTAL = $3,840

TOTAL RAISED = $4,000.00
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee (4%) $160.00

Original budget

Fence repairs   $10,000

Home repair deductibles  $6,000

Vehicle replacements $50,000

Tree replacements  $2,000

Food stipend for total loss low income households  $2,000

Emergency board-up, glass/window replacements $5,000

ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee 8% N/A
ioby Donation Processing Fee 4% $3,125.00
TOTAL TO RAISE $78,125.00


Not in Nottingham! The Final Push

Friends, neighbors, family- thank you so much for the generosity shown, the talent donated, the time shared.  Saturday night's benefit show at the Hi Tone (GOD BLESS YOU SKINNY) raised up $900 on the door, alone, and we're still totaling proceeds from the silent auction.  While we were preparing for this event- while bands were doing sound checks, back at home in Sherwood Forest the east side of the neighborhood lost power.  Again.  And everyone scrambled to save groceries and keep houses cool as HEELS took the stage.  Most of our neighbors couldn't make the show because they were managing yet another emergency.  Our fundraising has fallen short of our goal.    If you haven't made a donation yet, please consider doing so now.  If you have, please consider sharing this link for our fundraiser out to your network and ask for their help.  

The dust has settled since August 9, and demolition has begun for some, repairs for others.  Some of us are in the cue for roof repair and tree removals.  Things are happening on every block.  We still haven't heard from everyone who lost homes and vehicles, despite flyering and networking and searching for folks who had to move that day, some, whose landlords had relocation options and made things a little easier.  For the folks we have heard from, we have a total need of $48,000, and that replaces home content for one family, a truck for another, a sedan for another and a windshield for forth.  

With amounts in excess of the immediate need, we intended to establish a Sherwood Forestation Trust, which would be a flexible fund to be used to replant any original growth tree (the largest grove of trees in our neighborhood that compose a super impressive canopy) lost in our community, and help neighbors in a time of crisis with emergency housing and food.  This is still our long term plan, but in the absence of exceeding the need by Thursday, we will continue fundraising efforts and grant seeking throughout the year.   

One thing we've learned- despite so many hearts of gold and so much best intent, fundraising for emergency relief takes more time than emergencies can afford. UDistrict Memphis will spend the next year raising up a trust for emergencies that residents in any of our nine neighborhoods may access when they can't make ends meet during a crisis any other way, we will work towards doubling the size and enhancing the capabilities of our UD Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), and next time Memphis has a hurricane and it picks our district as its favorite for destruction, we'll be ready.    


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Ben Abney because round numbers are better
  • Ross Turner Auction Clear Vinyl
  • Meghan Lewis
  • James Williams Auction Pasta
  • Shelley Brown Auction RP Tracks gift card
  • Angela Horton Auction RP Tracks gift card
  • Cassy Odom Auction Crystal and Divination Basket
  • Benji Smith Auction POTS tickets
  • Tamara Fazzio Auction Theatre Memphis tickets
  • Eric Hines $50 GCT tickets and $50 RP Tracks card
  • Amy Martin Auction Skateboard
  • VH
  • Marilyn L.
  • Anna K.
  • Nico C.
  • Anonymous
  • Keshia Williams Auction Gift Card Second Line/Iris
  • Tamara Fazzio Auction Theatre Memphis Tickets
  • Katrina Coleman Auction HiTone merch
  • Benjamin Aviotti Auction Art
  • Show posters
  • HiTone Cafe Door
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Jeremy O’Neal
  • Lindsey S.
  • Steve H.
  • Travon M.
  • Cathy F.
  • Anonymous
  • Beatrice Cavette
  • Laura C.
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Marcia and Robert Hale
  • Heather Rains
  • Greg F.
  • Anonymous
  • University District Graffiti Ninjas