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Do you work at a soup kitchen? Volunteer at an elementary school? Build Habitat houses? Coach youth soccer? Give blood? Make treks to Africa to help children living in the midst of war?

Tennessee Volunteers have a long history of trying to make the world a better place. These are just a handful of the many ways UT community members reach out to help others.

This year, Ready for the World, the international and intercultural initiative at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is focusing on “Our World in Need,” with a special emphasis on the issue of poverty.

As part of this new theme, Ready for the World has launched “Volunteers Rock the World!” to collect stories about how members of the UT community are lending a hand to make our world a better place through volunteer work or service learning projects.

“It’s not by accident that we’re the UT Volunteers,” Chancellor Jimmy G. Cheek said. “We got our name from our longtime willingness to help others.

“As a land-grant research university, outreach is core to our mission. We know our students, faculty, staff and alumni are involved in important volunteer projects, some on their own and some tied to their work here at UT. We want to hear about their work, share it with the world and help connect our resources to our community’s needs.”

A new Facebook page — — has been set up for anyone interested in Ready for the World. This page will be where the UT community can post “Volunteers Rock the World!” videos and photos for the world to see.

Here’s how to participate:

  • Request a “Volunteers Rock the World!” T-shirt by visiting
  • Wear your T-shirt while doing your volunteer work or service learning project.
  • Make a short video while doing your work. Make sure there is some footage of you included! Your video should be only one to two minutes long. Make sure you say who you are, explain your affiliation with UT and describe your volunteer or service learning project. If you don’t want to make a video, take photos!
  • Go to the Ready for the World Facebook page ( and become a fan.
  • On the Facebook page, share a brief description of your story and embed your video or photos. If you need help, see

There are some great videos already posted on the Facebook page. Take a look!

The goal of Ready for the World is to support the culture of diversity on campus that best prepares students for working and competing in the 21st century. The initiative involves increasing the diversity among students, faculty and staff; infusing the curriculum with international and intercultural perspectives; encouraging faculty to incorporate international and intercultural aspects in all of their courses; expanding study-abroad and work-study opportunities; and encouraging students to make these opportunities a key part of their UT experience.