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Volunteers come together to support the YWCA for the annual Chancellor's Day of Service inside of the Student Union Ballroom
Volunteers come together to support the YWCA for the annual Chancellor's Day of Service inside of the Student Union Ballroom on November 17, 2021.

More than 300 students, faculty, and staff from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, came together on November 17, for the third annual Chancellor’s Day of Service, a time to embrace what being a Volunteer is all about. This year’s event benefited the YWCA Knoxville & the Tennessee Valley.

“Being a Volunteer has always meant stepping forward in service, in leadership, and giving to something bigger than yourself,” said Chancellor Donde Plowman. “I’m grateful for the coordinated efforts of the Clay and Debbie Jones Center for Leadership and Service to collect items for local community members who benefit from the YWCA’s services.”

Chancellor Plowman stops by to thank volunteers during the Chancellor’s Day of Service.

In four shifts, volunteers arranged the donated items into 250 welcome home baskets to support women and families who are served by three YWCA programs–Victim Advocacy Program, Phyllis Wheatley After School Enrichment Program, and Keys of Hope Women’s Program. Keys of Hope has been providing a home and safe space for women in need for nearly a century.

During the event Plowman thanked the volunteers for their time and effort, noting that they exemplify the Volunteer spirit that makes Rocky Top so special.

“The Chancellor’s Day of Service is a great event and one I hold dear to my heart,” said volunteer Yana Truman, an administrative specialist with the School of Journalism and Electronic Media in UT’s College of Communication and Information.

“I have had a relative that used the transition housing services downtown through the YWCA, and my youngest daughter attended the Phyllis Wheatley After School Program when she was younger. The event was well organized, and it did not take a big-time commitment to make an impact. It was also great that Chancellor Plowman showed up in person to speak to the group and thank the volunteers for their time.”

YWCA Knoxville & the Tennessee Valley serves more than 11,300 women, children, and families through a variety of programs at sites in downtown Knoxville, East Knoxville, and Oak Ridge, providing services across Knox, Anderson, Roane, Loudon, Blount, and Sevier Counties.

The downtown YWCA building was constructed in 1925 to serve women and girls with housing, an employment bureau, gym classes, a sewing room, and transit services. The Phyllis Wheatley Center, built in East Knoxville in 1954, serves the community with youth, education, and health and fitness programs. In 2015 the YWCA expanded it services to Anderson County after a renovation of its building in Oak Ridge. Its Victim Advocacy Program provides services to victims of domestic violence.

YWCA Knoxville & the Tennessee Valley is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. The organization has been serving women and their families in East Tennessee since 1899.


Brooks Clark (865-974-5471,

Maddie Stephens (865-974-3993,