All it takes is one — one person, one determined vision, one accomplishment fulfilled. CMT One Country, the channel’s national call to volunteerism, harnesses the collective power of these individual actions, promoting civic participation and inspiring CMT viewers to bring about important change in their communities.
“When you volunteer, you get to see that your small part has contributed to another success story,” said Melissa, a Volunteer of the Month from St. Louis, Missouri.
Ricky, a Volunteer of the Month from Bristol, Tennessee, agrees. “It takes one person to make a difference,” he said. “You can be that one person.”
CMT One Country partners with some of America’s best-known and most effective service organizations, offering volunteers a huge range of opportunities from partners like Feeding America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Habitat for Humanity, HandsOn Network, the USO and Children’s Miracle Network. Volunteers can find local projects simply by checking the CMT One Country website at cmtonecountry.com. Inspiration can also be found on the site. Filled with stories of organizations and people dedicated to doing good, it’s a powerful motivator.
CMT One Country offers another way to motivate volunteers. Those who donate four hours of their time each month are automatically entered into the Volunteer of the Month sweepstakes. Winners are featured on the CMT One Country website, have $1,000 donated to their favorite charity and receive special gifts. Monthly winners are entered into the grand prize drawing for a VIP trip for two to the CMT Music Awards.
CMT One Country also leverages the network’s biggest night of the year, the CMT Music Awards, in another way. During the promotion of the show, CMT One Country highlights the generosity of its artists by promoting their charities of choice. CMT One Country celebrates each artist who wins that evening by making a donation to his or her charity. Nearly $193,000 has been given so far, along with millions of dollars’ worth of free promotion for charities chosen by award nominees.
And instead of giving the show’s performers and presenters gift bags, CMT makes a donation on their behalf to the BackPack program at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee, the local affiliate of Feeding America. CMT One Country has provided more than 265,000 nutritious, easy-to-prepare take-home meals for schoolchildren. Stars like Trisha Yearwood and Darius Rucker have promoted the BackPack program in conjunction with the awards, and over the years, Second Harvest and Feeding America have received $1.5 million in promotional value on CMT.
CMT One Country also works to benefit America’s men and women in the military. In support of the 2012 Artists of the Year special, CMT teamed with the Ram Truck brand to encourage viewers to donate to Cell Phones for Soldiers, an organization that provides cost-free calls for active duty members of the military and veterans. Through this partnership, more than 1.66 million minutes of calling time were donated, and Cell Phones for Soldiers received more than $500,000 in promotion.
The spirit of volunteerism inspired by CMT One Country has helped millions of people in need. But it has also provided powerful benefits for the thousands of CMT viewers who volunteer. As Kelly, a Volunteer of the Month from Amity, Oregon, said, volunteering is “a great gift to your heart.”