Volunteering with the Vols Project to Deliver Flowers for Knoxville Charity

UT students and alumni will join forces on Friday to make deliveries for Random Acts of Flowers, which repurposes flowers left over from other events to provide bouquets to individuals in health care facilities.

The effort is part of Volunteering with the Vols, a series of community service projects coordinated by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions that are taking place during July in nine cities around the country.

Volunteering with the Vols participants, back row from left to right, are Hailey Fagan; Yarden Batz; Nancy Murphy, alumna and site coordinator of BELL Garden; Danielle DeJarnette; and Drake Lyle. On the front row, from left to right, are Sammy Stevens, UT regional counselor for Nashville and UT alumna; Kayla Tisdale; Elif Girismen; and Maddie Rainwater.

Volunteering with the Vols participants, back row from left to right, are Hailey Fagan; Yarden Batz; Nancy Murphy, alumna and site coordinator of BELL Garden; Danielle DeJarnette; and Drake Lyle. On the front row, from left to right, are Sammy Stevens, UT regional counselor for Nashville and UT alumna; Kayla Tisdale; Elif Girismen; and Maddie Rainwater.

Volunteering with the Vols kicked off last week in Nashville with eight incoming UT freshmen and two alumni renovating a chicken coop at the BELL Garden in Nashville, a hands-on community garden where participants learn how to tend vegetable and fruit plants, eat healthier, and care for the environment while also reaping the benefits of physical activity and multicultural interaction.

Volunteering with the Vols students and alumni worked at BELL Garden in Nashville. In the back row, from left to right, are Maddie Rainwater, Drake Lyle, Austen Whelan, Danielle DeJarnette, and Kayla Tisdale. In the front row are, from left to right, Hailey Fagan, Elif Girismen, and Yarden Batz.

Volunteering with the Vols students and alumni worked at BELL Garden in Nashville. In the back row, from left to right, are Maddie Rainwater, Drake Lyle, Austen Whelan, Danielle DeJarnette, and Kayla Tisdale. In the front row are, from left to right, Hailey Fagan, Elif Girismen, and Yarden Batz.

“Those who joined us in Nashville had a great time, met new friends, and helped a worthwhile cause,” said Taylor Thomas, coordinator of student affairs for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, who helped plan the service projects. “Volunteering with the Vols is networking with a purpose. Since we’re all part of the Volunteer family, participants feel a great camaraderie from the start. They share stories and advice, and depart from the event feeling great about their university and satisfied that they’d made a difference in their community.”

Future Volunteering with the Vols events are planned for:

  • July 22 in Atlanta. Volunteers will work with Meals on Wheels to deliver hot meals to homebound seniors.
  • July 22 in Knoxville. Volunteers will be engaging in cleanup efforts with Keep Knoxville Beautiful. The UT group will focus on the campus and the adjacent Fort Sanders neighborhood.
  • July 23 in Atlanta. Volunteers will be working at the Community Food Bank, which collects food and grocery items from manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, brokers, restaurants, food drives, gardens, and individuals and distributes them to partner agencies that supply them to the needy.
  • July 23 in Memphis. Academy, a K–6 Christian college-prep school in the Frayser community of Memphis.
  • July 25 in Tampa, Florida. Volunteers will be renovating cages at Big Cat Rescue. One of the world’s largest sanctuaries for exotic cats, the rescue is a leading advocate in ending the abuse of captive big cats and in saving wild cats from extinction. It is home to about eighty lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars, and servals.
  • July 29 in Chattanooga. Volunteers will be washing vehicles for Orange Grove Center, a nonprofit that serves adults and children with intellectual disabilities.
  • July 30 in Charleston, South Carolina. Volunteers will be helping with marsh cleanup efforts.
  • July 30 in Dallas. Volunteers will be sorting items at the CitySquare Thrift Store. The store is part of a CitySquare, a community development organization that oversees fifteen social service programs addressing the poverty-related issues of hunger, health, housing, and hope.
  • July 30 in Johnson City, Tennessee. Volunteers will be helping to set up the new Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
  • July 30 in Washington, DC. Volunteers will be cleaning, mulching and doing maintenance for Living Classrooms’ Camp Fraser, a seventy-six-acre wooded area about forty-five minutes from downtown Washington. The camp offers hands-on educational programs, summer camps, and adventure programming.

CONTACT:

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034, ablakely@utk.edu)