Lipscomb volunteers help make start of new year brighter for local elementary students

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Students at three Nashville schools will have new backpacks filled with supplies to start the school year.

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A team of Lipscomb University volunteers joined organizations from across the city to stuff backpacks with school supplies donated as part of the United Way Day of Action Thursday, July 25. Hundreds of volunteers were on hand at Nashville’s Greer Stadium to fill enough backpacks so that every student at three Metro Nashville Public School elementary schools, including Tusculum and Napier, will receive a backpack when classes begin in August.

“As an institution of higher education, one of the greatest things we can do it to give back to students,” said Kathy Hargis, director of risk management and co-chair of Lipscomb’s 2013 United Way campaign. “It’s an opportunity for us to do something positive for these children. It is also core to who we are as an institution and we have strong relationships with the school system. So, this is just a natural thing for us to do.”

The backpacks carried with them a message about the importance of education. Each were printed with the words, “Education is the most powerful tool to change the world.”

“You remind me of an army of angels,” Napier Principal Ronald Powe told the crowd of volunteers. “I am where the rubber meets the road. You need to know how important what you are doing is. We’ve been able to make academic gains that will allow us to be recognized as a school that’s progressive. IT all starts with partnerships like that with you and the United Way. I am grateful for people like you who help me make sure that day one of this new school year will be a great day.”

The Lipscomb community collected about ten large bags full of school supplies for the project, Hargis said. She said she was very pleased with the response to this project.

Sam Moran, recruiter for the graduate business program, said he enjoys any opportunity to serve others.

“Any time you have the opportunity to help others it’s good to take advantage of it,” he said. “I’ve been so blessed, and I want to give back by helping others.”

“I have worked with nonprofit organizations in the past and I enjoy helping others,” said Kristin Matthews, Center for Entrepreneurship program coordinator. “It feels good to know that you are helping someone else. It’s great to see the smiles on people’s faces when you do something to make a difference.”

The United Way Day of Action is just one part of Lipscomb’s annual involvement with the organization. This fall, the institution will participate in the annual  fundraising campaign.