The Sewanee Community Chest does not allocate funds to those organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, creed, sex, or national origin.
Since 1908, the goal of the Sewanee Community Chest has been to help citizens by funding the community. Through Community Chest funding, 25 local organizations help those caught in the cycle of poverty, improve quality of life through outreach and community initiatives, and provide support for children with a variety of programs. The Sewanee Community Chest is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and donations are tax-deductible. Send your donation or pledge to Sewanee Community Chest, P.O. Box 99, Sewanee, TN 37375.
Organizations Supported 2015-16 (check back for updates)
Blue Monarch is requesting $1,000 to apply toward their Proverbs 22:6 Children’s Program. This focus area utilizes students from the University of the South and many volunteers from the Sewanee community. Many of the children who come to Blue Monarch have lived with significant dysfunction, possible abuse or neglect, exposure to drugs or violence and—at the very least—a missing sense of security. By offering a nurturing environment that offers a structured routine in a safe, loving Christian home, the children thrive and heal in this predictable setting.
The Mountain Goat Trail Alliance (MGTA) is a rail-to-trail community outdoor recreation project to convert an abandoned right-of-way into a multi-use recreational corridor between Franklin and Grundy Counties. The MGTA is fully supported by grants and donations. The MGTA will use $3,000 for the construction of the trail between Monteagle and Tracy City.
The Sewanee Fourth of July organization will use $4,000 to purchase fireworks and help pay for the band that plays on July 3. Its mission is to celebrate Independence Day with the entire community.
St. Mark’s Community Center serves the community by offering a space for dinners, meetings, receptions, benefits and family reunions. St. Mark’s is requesting $700 to help pay for utility bills and the upkeep of the building.
Housing Sewanee is a nonprofit organization modeled after Habitat for Humanity. Since 1993, Housing Sewanee has built one house each year for an area family in need. These families include the elderly, the sick, the physically or mentally disabled, and grandparents raising their grandchildren.
Housing Sewanee accepts applicants and selects recipients based on need and ability to sustain a no-interest mortgage. Recipients are expected to help with the building process, when possible. Many times, their neighbors and families pitch in to help. Most houses are built for approximately $50,000. Housing Sewanee provides the capital and volunteer labor to get the house built. When the house is finished, the owners begin to pay a monthly mortgage fee. Currently, two houses are in the process of being built.
Housing Sewanee is requesting $5,000 from the Community Chest to help with expenses, which is approximately 20 percent of its costs. Housing Sewanee’s expenses last year totaled approximately $25,000. This organization also receives funding from individuals, concession sales, summer work groups and poster sales. It does not have paid employees, but relies on community volunteers. The Outreach Office at the University of the South also assists them.
The Community Action Committee (CAC) is Otey Parish’s primary outreach ministry, and has been in existence for more than 40 years. The mission of the CAC is to provide assistance to persons in crisis, to provide services related to basic human needs, and to identify ways to break the cycle of poverty and need. The CAC director and volunteers help more than 300 families and individuals a month. Some families regularly receive food and financial assistance, while others receive only occasional support. The needs are great in this community
The CAC will receive $10,400 if the SCC goal is met to help support its mission and continue its work among the poorest of the poor in the community. The CAC provides services and a safety net for the poor, hungry and oppressed. CAC provides food, and also assistance for utilities, medical, dental, housing, and educational needs.
The CAC does receive other income from the community, including businesses, Otey Parish, grants, and individuals. The SCC funds approximately 32 percent of the CAC’s budget.
Folks at Home (F@H) began as a grassroots project, sponsored by Otey Memorial Parish. In 2010, the organization began its first full year of operation. F@H is a local nonprofit organization developed for and dedicated to assisting its members in continuing a dignified and comfortable lifestyle in the community through coordination of services they need during elder years. Anyone of any age is invited to participate.
In 2014 F@H provided more than 2,500 services including transportation, home visits, consultations, care and service coordination, information and referrals, as well as the pro bono Equipment Exchange of accessibility items. F@H provides services at no cost to the recipients. In addition to the 56 annual subscribing members, F@H provided pro bono services to more than 81 individuals and 10 groups/organizations. The fact that the number of pro bono clients who received services tripled from 2013 to 2014 is an indication of the tremendous need for these services.
The F@H director, assistant, and volunteers provided these services. Community volunteers (30) contributed more than 148 hours of direct service to 22 people, while three volunteers gave more than 100 hours of office support. University students (seven) gave 48 hours to 10 households via Community Engaged Learning.
F@H will receive $5,000 from the Sewanee Community Chest, assuming goal is met.
The Sewanee Civic Association is the sponsoring organization of Cub Scout Pack 152, which has been in existence for 50 years. The purpose of the Cub Scout Pack is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices by instilling in them the values of the Scout oath and Law. Cub Scout Pack 152 uses yearly funds from the Community Chest to provide a high quality-scouting program. Funds are used to buy awards, finance the annual Pinewood Derby, and hold the Blue and Gold Banquet. In addition to money received from the Community Chest, the Cub Scouts receive money from den dues. The Cub Scouts are requesting $600, which is half of the Pack’s income.
St. Andrew’s-Sewanee School is the chartering organization of the Boy Scout Troop 14. The mission of the Boy Scout Troop is to provide leadership training, outdoor recreation opportunities, and skill development for boys in the community. The Troop is requesting funds to replace worn out camping equipment, and to help underwrite travel and canoe rental costs for the annual outing trip in the spring. The Boy Scout Troop does receive additional funds through annual dues and fundraising events. The Boys Scouts have requested $300.
Girl Scout Troop 2107 builds girls of courage, confidence, and character. They are requesting funds from the Community Chest to buy supplies, badges and take field trips for 34 girls. The Girl Scout Troop does receive money from cookie sales and Troop dues. They are requesting $200, which is 10 percent of the Troop’s income.
Girl Scout Troop 621 provides 30 girls with a safe learning area. They are requesting funds from the Community Chest to help buy camping equipment and craft materials. The Girl Scout Troop does receive money from cookie sales and Troop dues. They are requesting $200.
The Sewanee Children’s Center (SCC) began in 1949. The SCC provides a high-quality preschool and after-school program to the youngest members of Sewanee and the surrounding communities of Franklin, Marion, and Grundy counties. SCC currently serves 49 children in both pre-school and after-school care.
The SCC will receive $9,000 to help with their scholarship account. The SCC has a long history of offering tuition assistance to families in need. These funds allow SCC to serve families that meet income eligibility guidelines. Often these children have the most to gain from access to high quality early childhood education services, but their families are not able to afford the care without financial assistance. The Community Chest funding of this program reaches many in the local community, including children and families most in need.
Last year, the Community Chest funding helped with the scholarship program. An additional $3,000 request in general operations money was used for upgrades to the facilities at Otey, to get the facilities up to code for DHS and to provide a safe environment for children and employees both inside and on the playground.
The SCC does get money from tuition fees and other donations. Yearly expenses for the SCC total more than $178,000. The biggest expenses are in payroll, operating expenses and general administration expenses. Funding from the Community Chest is approximately six percent of the SCC’s total income.
Since 1867 there has been a long-standing relationship between the community and the public school. For years this voluntary community commitment maintained the educational system, such as St. Paul’s on the Mountain school and the school on Billy Goat Hill.
When the Sewanee Civitan Club (now the Sewanee Civic Association) was first organized, its objective of good citizenship included “a comprehensive program for the betterment and improvement of every phase of community activity.” (Chitty) This included providing school facilities. At that time, the Franklin County Board of Education agreed to pay the salaries of teachers, but did not provide the buildings. The University at that time was unable to help with the expenses. Funding for a new public school became a community goal. The school building would be on University leasehold land, owned by the Sewanee Civitan Club, and operated by the Franklin County School Board.
Funds were raised in the community and the Sewanee Public School was completed in 1927 through volunteer efforts. In 1933, the community built the Roosevelt Addition. In 1943, more than half of the town’s SCC budget went to maintain the school, and fund programs for enrichment and the purchase of supplies. The county took over the maintenance of the school in 1955 when the building and land were turned over to the county as long as a school remained on that site.
The Sewanee Elementary School (SES) continues to rely on yearly funding from the SCC to meet the school’s needs. This funding commitment “has served the intentional purpose of eliminating the door-to-door fundraising.” (Chitty)
The Sewanee Elementary Parent Organization (SES PO), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, requests and disburses the SCC funds each year for SES. All money received is used for yearly support to the school. The SES PO works with teachers and staff to find solutions to specific educational needs of the school that are not met by the Franklin County School system funding or services.
The SCC is the primary source of revenue for the SES PO operating expenses. The SES PO also receives money through annual dues and small fundraisers such as t-shirt sales. SES receives additional money from school pictures, two book fairs, and BoxTops. This year the SES PO will receive $20,000 if the SCC goal is met.
The money raised for the school will help to fund: classroom supplies, including the purchase of a new kiln for the art program; the library for new books, eBooks and material purchases; enrichment funds for visiting speakers, performing artists, field trips to cultural events and exhibitions, Friday School, Field Day, and academic tutoring; and professional development funds to support travel and registration costs for dyslexia/autism training, writing conferences, math, and Common Core training.
The Sewanee Senior Citizens Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It began in 1978 with state funds for building renovation. Volunteers completed the work on the building. Part of the director’s salary was paid from Franklin County Senior funding. Meals were off ered through the state’s Nutrition Program.
In 1997 the satellite relationship with the Franklin County Senior Citizens became tenuous when the board voted to cease contributing to the director’s salary. The Sewanee Community Chest increased its donation. An anonymous donor remained committed to matching funds. The center survived.
In September 2002, the center was excluded from the state’s Nutrition Program. Meals were available again in October 2002, when Lena McBee and Frances Lappin prepared food at home and brought it to the center for distribution. Because of their efforts and the funds received from the Franklin County Commission and the Sewanee Community Chest, the center now has cooks. These cooks prepare more than 8,000 lunches annually.
In addition to meals for seniors and shut-ins, the center provides various activities, which are scheduled weekly for 75 seniors and other members of the community. Activities include games, exercise groups, musical programs, blood pressure checks and information sessions regarding nutrition and health care.
The Senior Citizens Center relies on the Community Chest for approximately 25 percent of its operating budget. Other funding comes from the Franklin County Commission. They also receive funds from bake sales and an annual Christmas bazaar. The Senior Citizens Center is requesting $12,000 for the cook’s salaries.
The purpose of the Sewanee Community Center is to improve the quality of life in the community by providing a space for community-initiated programs and projects. These programs include South Cumberland Farmer’s Market and the Food Buyers Co-op, yoga, tai chi, gymnastics, Cub Scouts and community meetings. The Community Center Board also sponsors a community-wide yard sale each spring. Approximately 600 to 800 people use the center each month.
The Community Center will receive $2,500 to be used for the general operating costs of keeping the center open, including utilities, insurance, maintenance, mowing and the manager’s salary. Paying for utilities is the biggest expense for the Community Center. Sources of revenue include rent from classes that meet at the Center and donations from users of the center, including the South Cumberland Farmer’s Market and garage sales fees.
The Phil White Dog Park is run by a group of volunteers known as the Friends of the Sewanee Dog Park (FSDP). The purpose of the group was to build and maintain a dog park for public use in Sewanee. The land for the park was set aside by the University of the South with the stipulation that in addition to building the park, the FSDP would be responsible for all park maintenance and repair.
The FDSP’s goal is to continue to publicize the park and raise funds for park maintenance, such as mowing, providing drinking water, trash removal, and repair or replacement of benches, dog waste stations, fencing and wire. The FSDP relies on volunteers, and in some instances private vendors and contractors to ensure that the park is properly maintained.
The FDSP is requesting $600 from the Community Chest. The funds will be used for water bills, garbage bills, reseeding and fertilizing, mowing, general maintenance, and a shelter for the dog owners. The FDSP relies on donations to keep the park open.
The TigerSharks swim team is a local club that provides an organized athletic experience for children ages 4–18 in the spring and summer, develops strong swimmers, builds self-esteem and encourages youth of all ages to work together as a team. The TigerSharks contribute significantly to a safer community by providing excellent swim instruction to children of all ages, regardless of their ability to pay the registration fee. Approximately 90 local youth participated in the swim program last year.
The TigerSharks swim team is requesting $500 to help support scholarship swimmers. The team also raises funds through bake sales, t-shirt fund-raisers and parent donations, in order to break even.
Registration fees of $160 per child are paid directly to the University of the South to cover pool use, insurance, and stipends for the coaches. Expenses last year totaled $16,500, and included eight scholarships awarded. Community Chest funding is approximately 3.5 percent of the gross income for the TigerSharks.
Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Tennessee (VIM) is a 501(c)3 non-profit health clinic, providing preventative and maintenance healthcare for uninsured adults between the ages of 18-64. VIM is a free health clinic where volunteers with different medical backgrounds assist in patient care and organization of clinic operations. The clinic’s patients are all uninsured, low-income adults who cannot afford medications and are not on a controlled substance such as narcotics. VIM relies on community donations to keep the clinic open.
Although the clinic is located in Franklin County, VIM has received increase referrals from Coffee, Grundy, Lincoln, Marion, Moore, Sequatchie, and Warren counties. For the year 2015, patient growth has doubled to 1,700 patients. The care team includes three nurses, two physicians, and one nurse practitioner. The specialty physicians include three gynecologists, a cardiologist, and a chiropractor. There are an additional 12 volunteers from the University of the South’s Bonner Program, the Canale Program, the Diabetes Education Program, and the Pre-Med Program. These volunteers have logged more than 1,500 volunteer hours.
VIM is requesting funding for their Diabetes Program. Each month VIM diagnoses approximately 15 new patients with diabetes. The insulin companies changed their patient assistance programs and now most the VIM patients are unable to get their insulin for free. Seventy-five percent of the SCC funding will go to the purchase of diabetes meters, testing strips, syringes, lancets, and insulin. The remainder of the funding will go towards paying for the patients’ lab work.