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“Make a Difference” Over 300 Volunteers

Posted on Friday, March 10, 2017 at 11:27 am

Bringing together more than 300 volunteers on March 4, South Cumberland Community Fund held its Make a Difference Day of Service at eight elementary schools: six in Grundy County (Pelham, Palmer, Swiss, North, Coalmont, Tracy City), and Monteagle and Sewanee.

The Community Fund asked each school about needs it had, and how the Fund could help. The projects included organizing and reactivating school libraries, clearing walking trails, playground improvements, working in school gardens, and large murals at three schools.

This day was also made possible because of the Community Fund’s partnership with the University of the South’s Office of Civic Engagement and the AmeriCorps VISTA program.

“Serving together, we are united together,” said Russell Ladd, principal of Coalmont Elementary School, to a group of about 30 volunteers after they had completed their projects.

South Cumberland Community Fund knew there were unmet needs at area schools and thought that a Day of Service might be a way to help find solutions. “By bringing together resources available to the Community Fund and working with our network of community partners and the schools, we thought we could truly “make a difference” by working together and sharing the day,” said Laura Willis, executive director of SCCF.

This year’s event grew out of SCCF’s 2015 Make a Difference project that invited schoolchildren to propose how they would use $1,000 to spend in their community.

“We funded four of those projects and it was very successful. This year, however, we wanted to find a way to involve more schools, more students, more parents, and more community members. And it worked. About 300 people volunteered on Saturday at eight schools in three counties. It was truly a Plateau-wide event!” Willis said.

South Cumberland Community Fund works at strengthening our home through philanthropy and leadership, connecting our Mountain by encouraging collaboration across the Plateau, and envisioning our future as one of hope and prosperity. Established in 2012, SCCF has invested more than $1 million in grants and community projects that benefit the tri-county (Grundy, Marion and Franklin) area.