Getting fruit into the hands of some of the people who need it most—shut-ins served by Mobile Meals—made the holidays more meaningful for some Pellissippi State Community College students.
The first-ever “Fruitful Endeavor” took place at Thanksgiving at Pellissippi State’s Magnolia Avenue Campus, and Moira Connelly, an English faculty member and the site’s Service-Learning coordinator, says the campus plans to make it an annual event. The Service-Learning program broadens students’ education by pairing community service with classroom learning.
Students, faculty, and staff supported Mobile Meals by donating large bags of fruit, and about 30 students volunteered during a three-hour block, sorting the fruit into 150 individual bags and making Thanksgiving cards, Connelly says.
The goal for Pellissippi State was threefold: to provide the fruit, to emphasize volunteer work and to give students in the knoxAchieves program an opportunity to fulfill their community service requirement. The program, which is part of tnAchieves (www.tnachieves.org), offers public high school graduates up to $3,000 per year for community college tuition in exchange for eight hours of volunteering.
“You really did make a difference this year,” Jennifer Oakes, volunteer coordinator for Mobile Meals, told the college. “In the past, a large donation of fruit was made by a church, but this year they were not able to contribute, thus any amount of fruit we received was important. We would have been very short without your contribution.”
Mobile Meals is a program of the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee’s Office on Aging.
To learn more about Pellissippi State, go to www.pstcc.edu or call (865) 694-6400. For more information about community service at the college, contact Annie Gray, Pellissippi State faculty member and coordinator of the Service-Learning program, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (865) 694-6492.