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TUESDAY, January 10, 2017  Issue No. 18

COMMUNITY TELEVISION . . . This month on Community Television of Knoxville, The Mayor’s Council on Disability Issues answered questions that employers are afraid to ask about hiring people with disabilities. United Way interviewed the Salvation Army about their mission and what services they provide. Knox County Community Action Committee discussed the Volunteer Assisted Transportation program and how seniors and people with disabilities can receive transportation assistance. Community Shares invited the Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley to talk about their Heroes and Hounds program that teaches veterans to train shelter dogs to make them more adoptable. Ijams Nature Center discussed their upcoming events and demonstrated crafts that utilize recycled materials. Goodwill Industries produced a "highlights" episode featuring client success stories that happened last year. To find out more about Community Television of Knoxville, visit this link.

BIKE WALK KNOXVILLE . . . Bike Walk Knoxville is a community-driven, non-profit organization working to create safe thoroughfares and vibrant communities in the Knoxville area. The organization promotes bicycling and walking as mainstream and enjoyable forms of transportation and recreation. A new survey conducted by the Social Work Office of Research & Public Service at The University of Tennessee at Knoxville indicates that there is broad support from Tennesseans for greater investments in biking and walking infrastructure. Find out more about Bike Walk Knoxville at their website at this link and view a summary of the UT survey report at this link.

ENVIRONMENT & CONSERVATION . . . The Sustainable Transportation Awards sponsored by the  Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation recognize outstanding initiatives within the State of Tennessee to reduce transportation-related energy and emissions, in line with an overarching effort to save natural resources, improve the health and well being of Tennesseans, and create efficiencies in the delivery of goods and services. Eligible entities include: federal, state and local governments; commercial, nonprofit, and industrial organizations; public and private institutions of higher education; and utilities. Nominations are due by March 31, 2017 and self-nominations are encouraged! Check out past winners and more information about the Sustainable Transportation Awards at this link.
BIG BROTHERS BIG SISTERS . . . Every year, more than 800 community members donate their time to help mentor children in East Tennessee through Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee. The organization recently recognized two members, Rich Brown and Mallory Griffin, as their Big Brother & Big Sister of the Year. These two individuals went above and beyond in 2016 to transform the lives of children. The mission of Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.  Learn more about Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee and how to get involved, by visiting this link.
SERVICE DOGS . . . Smokey Mountain Service Dogs, a local nonprofit organization, was recently awarded $2,000 through BB&T’s Lighthouse Project. This organization believes that with the help of highly trained service dogs, individuals with physical and/or psychological disabilities can become increasingly self-sufficient and independent.  Smokey Mountain Service Dogs can train dogs to assist with retrieval of dropped or out of reach items, carrying or pulling small loads, opening doors or cabinets, or even calling 911 in an emergency situation, among other tasks. To learn more about Smokey Mountain Service Dogs, visit this link.

CITIZENSHIP ALLIANCE . . . In September, a group of non-profit representatives sat together in Mayor Rogero’s Office. They talked about their efforts to help immigrants gain U.S. citizenship and smoothly bring them into our community. Their efforts ranged from teaching English, to finding housing and helping with transportation. On that day, Rogero signed a proclamation that officially recognized the creation of the Knoxville Citizenship Alliance. This is an umbrella organization made up of Centro Hispano of East Tennessee, Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church, West Park Baptist Church and Bridge Refugee Services, to name a few. Organizations like these have helped Knoxville become among the top 25 cities for immigrants. Find a comprehensive list of pro-immigrant organizations at this link.

DREAM BIKES . . . DreamBikes is a non-profit organization that strategically locates used bicycle stores in low-to-moderate income neighborhoods in order to provide hands-on, paid job training to teens. Working in conjunction with local youth organizations, DreamBikes employs teens from the area to work in the stores and teaches them how to refurbish bicycles, use point of sale software, and deliver great customer service. DreamBikes provides lifelong skills to teen employees, helping them to shift gears and find a bright future. A new location will open in Knoxville in January at 309 North Central and will work with the Boys and Girls Club to identify candidates for the program.  Find out more about DreamBikes at this link.

STORYTELLERS . . . Maryville recently received a special visit from the Smoky Mountain Storytellers Association. This organization celebrates rich history of storytelling in the Appalachians and travels around the area to share these stories. The genres of the stories that are told range from traditional folktales, to contemporary fiction, memoirs, and everything in between. The Storytellers recently met at the Vienna Coffee House to tell Christmas themed stories for all who came to listen. To keep up with where the Smoky Mountain Storytellers Association will visit next, visit this link.

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