When Cash learned of the plastic pollution problems facing the Tennessee River, he organized cleanup events along a nearby riverbank. His efforts led him to publish “One Small Piece,” a children’s book that focuses on how every kid, no matter their age, size or limitations, can make a difference. Today, he is known as the Conservation Kid, and we couldn’t be prouder to shine a service spotlight on him and his awesome work!
After learning of the increased demand at Second Harvest East Tennessee, William started Vanilla Feeds Tomorrow. Since May, this Knoxville teen has raised over $9,000 which equals to more than 27,000 meals for his fellow East Tennesseans.
To learn more about William's story and how to help, click here.
BrightStone's mission is to provide a comprehensive work, social support, and future residential community for adults with special needs, expanding their potential and helping them develop mentally, physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.
BrightStone volunteers, as known as BrightCorps, help with the day program, front office needs, student product sales, special student events, and service projects on their 138 acre campus. Some volunteers spend time with our adults each week, while others take every opportunity to help BrightStone on weekends.
Every BrightCorps volunteer is a vital, treasured part of the BrightStone family. Interested in becoming a BrightCorps volunteer? Click here.
ASP provides one of the most rewarding structured service opportunities in the nation — bringing thousands of volunteers from around the country to rural Central Appalachia to repair homes for low-income families. Since 1969, they've made homes warmer, safer, and drier(R) for families and provided transformational service experiences for volunteers. in 2018, 16,231 volunteers served with ASP, providing critical repairs for 493 families and constructing over 60 new homes.
To learn more about ASP or to become an ASP volunteer, click here.
Empower Cocke County is a nonprofit that facilitates positive life change through faith-based skill building and workforce development training. It works to serve Cocke County's biggest areas of need:
• Substance Abuse
• Breakdown of the Family
Empower Cocke County was established in 2013. It started out as a grassroots effort by a local church that over time, grew and welcomed other churches to serve. Together, they target Cocke County's needs through evangelism, the hopeline and vocational rehabilitation.
To learn more about Empower Cocke County, click here.
Maranatha House, located in Jackson county Tennessee, is a yearlong Christ-centered residential recovery program for women that seriously want to change their lives. Most of its residents have struggled with drug addiction, abusive relationships, and incarceration. Almost all have had their children removed. Some come very sick. All have been emotionally traumatized in some way. Since its inception 7 years ago, Maranatha House has helped dozens of women break the chains of addiction and abuse to become productive members of society. To learn more about the ministry, click here.
MyRide TN is an expanding, sustainable, senior-friendly volunteer transportation service that has taken root in Tennessee. Volunteer drivers use their personal vehicles to carry older Tennesseans to a variety of destinations, including medical appointments and grocery stores. Rides are provided Monday–Friday and priority is given to doctor appointments. Interested in becoming a volunteer? Click here.
Gus the Bus was started by Peggy Hamby, the director of Food Service and Nutrition for Morgan County Schools. Peggy's vision transformed a former school bus into a colorful cafe on wheels for kids. Each child that boards the bus is receives a well-balanced, nutritious meal and a book to take home. Passengers enjoy story time with Peggy and are taught important facts about nutrition. All produce, dairy and meat provided on Gus the Bus is locally sourced.
To learn more about Gus the Bus, click here.
Tennessee Serves has a special focus on serving Tennessee's federally-designated distressed counties. As part of that focus, First Lady Maria Lee visited Morgan County where she served food to those in need alongside other volunteers at the Morgan Scott Project. The Morgan Scott Project works to serve the elderly, disabled and unemployed of Morgan and Scott Counties. If you are in the area and want to lend a helping hand, click here.
State of Tennessee Employees Serve Active-Duty Military and Veterans
The Tennessee Government Management Institute organized an essential-items drive benefiting the USO of Fort Campbell and Nashville and the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System. The drive spanned 20+ state departments and ended with a final sorting event attended by First Lady Maria Lee.
Service can be simple and fun!
Service can be simple and fun! Check out these kids making a difference by delivering a meal to a local nonprofit and picking up trash in their community. Their parents posted these pictures on social media using #TennesseeServes or #TNKidsServe. Share your photos with us for a chance to be featured as well!
If you need service project ideas or inspiration on ways to serve your neighbors, click here.
Lillie and Olen
With one Facebook post, Lillie and Olen collected 403 bottles of hand soap to donate to the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Nashville. Their efforts caught the eye of the Cookeville Herald Citizen where they were featured for their outstanding work in serving others. You can read the full piece on Lillie and Olen by clicking here.
To learn more about volunteering at a Hope Lodge near you, click here.
First Lady Maria Lee served alongside first responders to build a home for disabled veteran and Purple Heart recipient, Alex Edwards, and his family. A Soldier's Journey Home is a Hixson-based nonprofit that constructs entire homes from the ground up in two weeks or less at zero cost to the soldier or their family. Volunteers for these builds consist mostly of first responders that willingly use their vacation days to participate. They are always looking for an extra pair of helping hands.
To learn more about A Soldier's Journey Home and how you can get involved, click here.