The UT Knoxville family—current and prospective students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends—came together on Saturday to serve their communities as part of “One Day. One Family. All Vols.”
The event is this year’s iteration of Volunteering with the Vols, which has drawn Volunteers into community service efforts around the country over the past two years.
In Knoxville, 11 volunteers came to together to clean the kitchen and food service area at the Love Kitchen. The group prepared food for the next week’s meal deliveries. Four participants drove in from Illinois to volunteer.
The Love Kitchen provides meals, clothing and emergency food packages to homebound, homeless and unemployed persons. The organization works with local agencies to provide meals, secure used clothing, and donate services to Knoxville’s needy.
Christie Banks, a UT alumna who is now an admissions recruiter based in Atlanta, played a key role in organizing “One Day. One Family. All Vols.”
“I really wanted my colleagues to select a project they thought alumni and students would enjoy, as well as one that had some meaning to them,” Banks said.
Taylor Thomas, director of alumni student recruitment and scholarships, helped to recruit alumni to participate nationwide.
“Our alumni are very passionate about their university and love meeting current and future Vols,” said Thomas. “The impact UT had on them was so extraordinary they want to ensure others have the same opportunities. Experiences like this really embody all that it means to be a member of the Volunteer family.”
Here’s a look at Saturday’s projects from around the country:
- Los Angeles, California—Sorting, cleaning, and repackaging donations at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
- San Diego, California—Cleaning up a beach with I Love a Clean San Diego, an organization dedicated to a zero-waste, litter-free, and environmentally engaged region.
- Washington, DC— Delivering meals and groceries for Food and Friends, an organization that works to improve the lives and health of people with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other serious illnesses
- Orlando, Florida—Sorting, checking, and repacking goods at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida
- Atlanta, Georgia—Sorting and packing food and books and doing general warehouse cleanup at Action Ministries
- Chicago, Illinois—Packaging food for Feed My Starving Children, which ships food around the world to eliminate childhood starvation
- Brooklyn, New York—Cleaning up Red Hooks Park
- Cincinnati, Ohio—Various projects at Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens
- Chattanooga, Tennessee—Sorting donations and organizing them for purchase in the Habitat for Humanity ReStore Center
- Nashville, Tennessee—Helping residents of Waterford at Hermitage, an assisted living and memory care facility, make sleeping mats out of plastic bags for the homeless
- Memphis, Tennessee—Decorating the interior of the FedEx Family House, which provides housing for out-of-town families with children receiving treatment at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, for the July 4 holiday
- Austin, Texas—Inspecting, cleaning, sorting, and boxing up food at the Central Texas Food Bank
- Houston, Texas—Sorting medical supplies, moving boxes, and loading shipping containers for Project C.U.R.E., an organization the provides donated medical supplies and equipment to developing countries around the world