Student Service & Partner Organizations
The outreach office partners with a number of student and non-profit organizations in Sewanee and the surrounding communities. These organizations range from local to international in scope and involve everything from hands-on work and community building to advocacy and awareness of social issues both at home and abroad. The outreach office, along with the help of student leaders, helps interested students find areas of service participation and leadership on campus and in the region. These many service organizations operate independently, but are bound together by their common goal to serve the community at large.
Student Led Organizations
Food with Friends
Food with Friends is a new student organization that serves as a traveling soup kitchen by hosting scheduled monthly meals in nearby towns. They strive to provide healthy meals and fellowship for community members. FwF partners with local food banks and pantries by coordinating meals with food pick up days.
Student Leader: Ansley McDurman '16 and Becca Hannigan '16, Canale Interns
Sewanee STAND / Invisible Children
Sewanee STAND is a student anti-genocide coalition that aims to bring college students together to put an end to genocide by promoting the mission and goals of Invisible Children. STAND hopes to educate others about what they can do to fight against this violation of human rights. Under STAND the Invisible Children campaign hopes to bring peace and hope back to the refugees and night commuters in Northern Uganda. The national campaign is run by creative, young, and vibrant people who want to bring education, clean water, and economic opportunities to a generation that was almost lost. With awareness and activism as their main goals, this student-run organization seeks after peace by raising awareness and fundraising for these programs.
Student Leader: Benita Uruhisho '14
Well Directed Curiosity
WDC started as a Canale internship project that a couple of students started in 2008. They saw the need to have an afterschool program which gave a group of rambunctious 3rd grade boys from Sewane Elementary the chance to learn through well directed exploration and discovery, and thus the program was created. It has since expanded to include 7 groups for both boys and girls, grades 3-5. Each group is separated by age and gender and is led by two Sewanee students who serve the role as mentor and lead the kids on a weekly adventure. This has become a very popular program with a number of students being involved semester after semester.
Student Leader: Johanna Gundlock, C'16, Canale intern
The following are non-profit organizations working in the community. Student volunteers partner with these organizations, often times on a weekly basis.
Animal Harbor is a volunteer run animal shelter located in Belvidere, operated by the Franklin County Humane society. They provide short term housing for animals in need of a new home.
Appalachian Women's Guild (AWG)
Based in Tracy City, AWG provides resources for abused, drug addicted, struggling women and their children. The guild's facility houses a thrift store and a food bank as well as space where they offer job training and opportunities to develop leadership skills. Sewanee students help by raising awareness, organizing fundraisers, and helping to organize the thrift store and maintain the building.
Blue Monarch is a non-profit organization that has a one-year residential program for women recovering from abuse, alcohol and drug addictions, and poverty. The women and their children are housed while they receive an education, find a job, become better mothers, and gain confidence in themselves. Students with the University raise awareness and money, visit the women and their children, and generally try to include the women in the Sewanee community.
Community Action Committee (CAC)
The CAC offers groceries and bread, assistance with utility bills, financial counseling and links to other assistance agencies in the area to more than 30 needy families in the greater Sewanee community. This committee is an outreach ministry of Otey Parish and other area churches that need student volunteers to help with the distribution of their services.
Cumberland Center for Justice and Peace (CCJP)
The mission of CCJP is to promote justice and peace in the Cumberland Plateau by thinking globally and acting locally. They approach this through education, networking, awarding grants, the reconciliation of controversial issues, and encouraging non-violent actions. Students interested in advocacy work are often drawn to the mission of CCJP.
Folks at Home
Folks at Home is a program that serves seniors in the community by providing services that helps enable them to remain at home while continuing to live a comfortable lifestyle. Services range from helping with chores, building handicap ramps, and providing transportation to clients.
Dedicated to girls and only girls, the Girl Scouts build character and the skills needed for success. Founded in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Georgia, it now has 3.6 million members in the United States and 90 other countries. University students can volunteer with the Sewanee branch, who works closely with Girl Scout troops in the local area.
Grundy County Food Bank (GCFB)
The GCFB provides food monthly to those in need in Grundy County. Eligibility is determined yearly using official documentation such as monthly social security, food stamp eligibility, and income verification. Local area grocery stores as well as a bigger food bank in Chattanooga donate food to the GCFB.
Heifer International is dedicated to ending world hunger by emphasizing community involvement and reinforcing the values of all people to be self-dependent. Heifer works in both domestic and international locations where poverty has led to hunger issues. They do this largely through personal donations, that allows individuals to "pass on the gift". Each year the Sewanee community collects monetary donations in the amount of $5,000 (or more) and is able to donate an "ark-full" of animals to Heifer.
Housing Sewanee Inc. (HSI)
Modeled after Habitat for Humanity, Housing Sewanee, Inc. was organized in 1993 for the purpose of forming a partnership between those who need homes on the Domain yet cannot afford a down payment or a high monthly mortgage and volunteers who want to work with those people to insure the dream of home ownership.
How it Works: Home owners are selected by a Family Selection Committee. Housing needs and community standing are criteria considered during the selection process. Once a future home owner is selected, Housing Sewanee, Inc. raises the money needed to purchase construction materials. Once construction begins, the future owner of the house has an obligation to work no fewer than 500 hours of "sweat equity" labor on the project, while volunteers supply a majority of the remaining labor. Following the completion of the construction project, the owner then has 30 years to repay Housing Sewanee, Inc. the funds required to construct their new home without added interest, affording the homeowner manageable monthly payments. Any additional taxes, municipal fees, and utility fees are the homeowners' responsibility.
Volunteer participations: Over 400 volunteers worked with the homeowners on the first HSI home and this trend has continued. The majority of our volunteers are made up of students and visiting work groups during the summer. No experience or special skills are necessary, and all are welcome to volunteer. The only requirement is a willingness to give a little time to help those in need realize the dream of living in and owning a decent home.
Visiting Work Groups: The University Outreach Office offers opportunities for groups to serve in Sewanee and partner with HSI during the summer. In participating with HSI construction efforts, groups participate in an experiential learning opportunity while also serving others. Groups of any size are welcome and those that might volunteer include: fraternities and sororities, dormitories, varsity sports teams, staff and faculty groups, local church groups, summer youth groups, and more.
Many students serve as coaches and referees for the local youth soccer league which is part of the American Youth Soccer Organization.