After wildfires struck the Gatlinburg, Tenn., area, staff and students at the Tennessee Colleges of Applied Technology (TCAT) campuses took action.
Using borrowed trucks as well as tractor-trailers from their truck-driving programs, the campuses collected 28,541 personal and household items — including blankets, clothes, toiletries and toys. Students and staff delivered the items to local agencies’ collection sites.
Angela Richardson, an instructor at TCAT–Harriman, put out the call to help families displaced by the inferno. SkillsUSA national officer Sherrie Wilcox, a student at TCAT–Knoxville who has been a Red Cross volunteer for years, tackled the logistics.
TCAT–Crossville members took their donations to the Harriman campus in a cattle trailer along with items from campuses in Livingston and Hohenwald. TCAT–Chattanooga delivered its collections to Knoxville on a tractor-trailer from its truck-driving program. Likewise, a trailer from TCAT–Knoxville’s truck-driving program picked up TCAT–Harriman’s donations.
Everything was delivered to the Red Cross donation center in Kodak, Tenn. Other TCAT campuses participating included McMinnville, Murfreesboro, Newbern and Ripley.