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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Intensive clean-up and fix-up work in South Chattanooga and the downtown area will be done this weekend by AmeriCorps teams from eight Tennessee cities.

Dr. Jim McDonell, a social work professor and head of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga AmeriCorps unit, said the teams will clear litter, repair recreation areas and paint buildings.

The UTC AmeriCorp project was designed by McDonell specifically to help youngsters and families in areas of poverty, unemployment and crime.

Created by Congress in 1993, AmeriCorps is a national service program that enlists Americans to serve their country by solving local problems. For full-time service, they are paid a $7,945 living allowance, health insurance, a child-care allowance and $4,725 college tuition benefit.

“But that’s not their only motivation,” McDonell said.

“These are people who are committed to returning something to the community, who feel like they’ve benefited through their experiences and want to give something back.”

Contact: Jim McDonell (423-755-4307)