In a state rich with the tradition of volunteerism, service-oriented projects have been ingrained in Tennessee residents for hundreds of years. Alumni from the land-grant institution of the “Volunteer State” continue this tradition both in Tennessee and beyond the state’s borders.
University of Tennessee Alumni Chapters across the country are always willing to lend a helping hand to local charities and organizations in their communities. These chapters love to share the Volunteer spirit in both big cities and small towns. So many alumni chapters participate in these activities that we cannot share all of them, but here are a few of examples of how chapters participate in community service efforts.
The West Palm Beach Chapter; the Columbia, South Carolina, Chapter; the Sevier County Chapter; and the Kingsport-Sullivan County Chapter all adopt a highway in their areas that they clean up four times a year. The Henry County Alumni Chapter is involved in the Henry County Helping Hand Auction, where each day there is a radiothon that benefits a particular nonprofit organization in the area. Several civic clubs, churches, and the Henry County Chapter have joined forces to raise thousands of dollars for local charities. The New York City chapter partnered with the Vanderbilt University New York City Alumni Chapter to host a benefit concert for flood victims in Nashville. The concert featured local bands and brought out a huge number of alumni and friends. Collecting blood for the local blood bank became the priority for the Hamilton County, Putnam County, and Western North Carolina chapters this year. Both groups hosted blood drives and had great turnouts from UT alumni and friends who were willing to make a donation.
Several chapters chose to host collection drives at their TV viewing parties and other chapter events. Chapters from Carroll County, Central Florida, the Central Savannah River Area, Dyer County, Montgomery County, Obion County, Phoenix, Arizona, and Tallahassee, Florida, all collected canned foods for local food banks. Other collection drives included Madison County, whose chapter collects toiletries for Room at the Inn, housing for the homeless, and Dallas/Fort Worth, whose chapter collects products for the Family Place, a safe shelter for women and children. The Rutherford County chapter collected food and supplies for troops overseas.
Some of our chapters like to use their athletic ability to help a cause by participating in local benefit races or walks. The Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, chapters, the Miami/Fort Lauderdale chapter, and the Lake County, Tennessee, chapter got their running shoes on to support local charities through various races.
Other chapters who participated in a community service project in 2010 include those in Benton County, Cumberland County, Davidson County, Decatur County, Shelby County, and the Triangle Area of North Carolina. Over 30 chapters leant a volunteer hand in their communities this year.
If you are interested in learning more about the University of Tennessee Alumni Association Chapter Program or how you can get involved in your local chapter, visit alumni.tennessee.edu.