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TUESDAY, October 4, 2016 Issue No. 11

BOOBS & BLOOMS . . . Do you love creating art and supporting a good cause? This October, Dogwood Arts is hosting Boobs & Blooms, a scarfmaking fundraiser to promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month and cancer survivorship. On October 22nd, from 10 am – 6 pm in Krutch Park Extension, participants will be able to create their own silk scarves. Later, they will be able to provide the same opportunity for a cancer patient or caregiver at a separate workshop with the nonprofit group Cancer Support Community of East Tennessee. To learn more about this organization, visit this link.

DO SOMETHING . . . With the recent change to Tennessee state law that allows educators and staff at state universities to carry guns onto campus, one student worked with to speak out against the change. Allison Plattsmier rallied students at Vanderbilt University through a social media campaign on Twitter, which involved the students posting pictures flexing their muscles with the message “These are the only guns I want on my campus.” Her goal is to make guns safer for everyone involved and for campuses to remain a safe space for learning. To learn more about this issue, visit this link to an article in the Knoxville News Sentinel.  
MEET A VOL – HAVE A BALL . . . A new trend is hitting colleges across the nation and the University of Tennessee - Knoxville has not been excluded. Over the last year, many schools have set up ball pits as emotional safe spaces for students to meet new people or express themselves. During UTK’s welcome week recently, one of the activities was the “Meet a Vol, Have a Ball” ball pit that included “conversation starters” printed on each of the balls. This lighthearted activity encouraged students to talk to someone they might not normally have met and to get in touch with their "inner child" during a stressful week. To learn more about this trend, read the article in The College Fix at this this link.

RENEWED . . . Renewed is a nonprofit organization that provides free referrals for those affected by an eating disorder, as well as educational training for healthcare professionals. This means that help is more accessible to those who might not otherwise receive it. Renewed stresses the fact that eating disorders are very much a psychiatric illness and require professional care. They also point out that a major obstacle in achieving their goal is societal stigma surrounding eating disorders. Shame, perceptions from the media, and misinformation all make it difficult for people to ask for help. Renewed is aiming to counter-act stigmas by spreading knowledge about their cause and encouraging those suffering to seek medical help. For more information, visit their website at this link.

MY FIRST READING CLUB . . . A group in Chattanooga has started up a business that focuses on children reading, called “My First Reading Club”. John Woods, Joe Kelly, Andy Kelly and Danny Schaefer are providing a service that delivers three books to the doors of children ranging from infants to the age of five. They believe that reading is crucial for child development and that receiving a special package every month increases excitement for reading. It is a surprise that makes reading a bit more fun. Surprisingly, the value of the books is higher than the monthly subscription cost, but the team is able to offset this by receiving books at discounted prices from book wholesalers. To learn more about My First Reading Club, visit their website at this link.

PICKLEFEST . . . The third annual Picklefest was held at Riverdale School House in East Knox County. People came together and celebrated their love of pickled goods through crafts, poetry and music. Vendors sold their handmade, pickled products while other enthusiasts sat in on cooking workshops. However, the scope of the festival went beyond just pickling. The Picklefest event is held in association with the French Broad Preservation Association, whose goal is to preserve and enhance the environmental and historic resources of the French Broad River communities. It is a win-win partnership. The event attracts an avid community that experiences and appreciates the natural beauty of the French Broad area. Find out more about the French Broad Preservation Association by visiting their website at this link.