On June 29, Vols across the country are invited to join together in a day of service under the motto “One Day. One Family. All Vols.” The annual Volunteering with the Vols event is a day for University of Tennessee, Knoxville, alumni and students—and their families—to demonstrate what it means to be a Tennessee Volunteer by giving back to their communities. This year’s efforts will benefit organizations such as the Memphis Zoo, the Jacobs and Cushman Food Bank in San Diego, and Habitat for Humanity in South Carolina.
“The level of enthusiasm for this event has been inspiring,” said Taylor Thomas, director of alumni student recruitment and scholarships at UT. “When Vols move away from home, they take the Volunteer spirit with them and continue to do good wherever they are. Each time I reach out to an alumni chapter, they’re looking for ways to contribute.”
Participation in this year’s Volunteering with the Vols is expected to exceed last year’s record of 180 volunteers completing over 500 service hours in 16 locations.
“This event continues to grow and benefit communities around the nation and sometimes even around the world,” Thomas said.
For Allen Taylor (’89), a vice president at LS3P Architects in Columbia, South Carolina, the annual event captures the best of the Volunteer spirit.
“Our alumni chapter plans to help the Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens. It’s exciting to know our efforts will be matched by chapters throughout the country,” Taylor said. “Wherever there is need, Tennessee Vols rise to the occasion and meet the challenge.”
Information about how to volunteer can be found on the Volunteering with the Vols website. Efforts being organized in cities throughout the nation include:
- Atlanta, Georgia—delivering meals for Meals on Wheels and performing tree maintenance in Mozley Park
- Austin, Texas—cleaning at Casa Marianella, which provides shelter and support services to displaced migrants
- Birmingham, Alabama—cleaning exhibits at the McWane Science Center, a hands-on science education museum for children
- Charlotte, North Carolina—mulching and picking up pine needles and garbage at the Firestone Park
- Chicago, Illinois—serving food at St. Paul’s Community Meals
- Columbia, South Carolina—working with the environmental services team of Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens to clean behind-the-scenes areas
- Dallas, Texas—working in the resale shop of Metrocrest Services, which helps community members coping with crisis situations
- Houston, Texas—serving at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore
- Kingsport, Tennessee—maintaining trails at Bays Mountain Park
- Knoxville, Tennessee—installing vinyl siding with Habitat for Humanity
- Memphis, Tennessee—cleaning at the Memphis Zoo
- Nashville, Tennessee—producing a seasonal garden project at the Bellevue Edible Learning Lab, which promotes physical activity, healthy eating, environmental stewardship, and multicultural connections
- Phoenix, Arizona—serving food at St. Mary’s Food Bank
- San Diego, California—stocking and organizing at the Jacobs and Cushman Food Bank
- Southwest Florida—visiting residents of the Estero LifeCare Center, which provides nursing services to senior citizens
- St. Louis, Missouri—general cleaning and small projects at Urban K Life, a community center for teens
- Upstate South Carolina—landscaping with Habitat for Humanity
- Washington, DC—cleaning and maintaining a site with the National Park Service
News Sentinel: Vols Across The US Give Back; WBIR: Valiant Vols Volunteer at ‘Volunteering with the Vols’ Vinyl Event; Daily Beacon: Nationwide Service Day to Connect Volunteer Community
Mallorie Mendence (865-974-5801, email@example.com)