First responders honored

Published 3:04 pm Friday, September 17, 2021

Bell County first responders were honored with a free lunch provided by AmeriCorps members serving at Bell County High School in observance of 9/11.

Tammie Sanders, Volunteer Services Navigator for the AmeriCorps program at Bell County High School, talked about the event.

“9/11 is one of the national day of services for the AmeriCorps program across the country,” Sanders said. “In observance of 9/11, the members got together, and we thought it would be a great idea to show our gratitude to the first responders in our area in observance of the first responders that were lost on 9/11.”

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A press release states the AmeriCorps members provided lunch to the Bell County Sheriff’s Department, Middlesboro Fire and Police Departments, as well as, the Pineville Fire and Police Departments on Friday, Sept. 10. 

Sanders pointed out a local pizza place was also involved in the event.

“We partnered with Domino’s Pizza, they gave us a really good deal on pizzas,” Sanders said. “We provided pizzas, drinks, plates, napkins, cups, everything that they would need for lunch.”

Sanders explained the intent was to show gratitude to the county’s first responders for their service to the community.

The AmeriCorps program has been at Bell County High School for three years, according to Sanders. She said the AmeriCorps program will continue observing 9/11 and another day of service. “9/11 and Martin Luther King Day are both national days of service for the AmeriCorps program,” Sanders said. “So, you will be seeing us doing something on each of those days.”

Sanders explained how the AmeriCorps program operates at Bell County High School.

“We have adult members who apply to be AmeriCorps members,” Sanders said. “It’s a service to your community, it’s not looked at as a job. They receive a living allowance…they commit to 1,700 hours of service.”

Sanders mentioned The AmeriCorps program at Bell County High School focuses on education, with emphasis on improving math skills and mentoring the students. 

“Our specific program is education based and we mentor and tutor the students at Bell County High School,” Sanders said. “We also do community service in our area as well. We are in the process of bringing on board some high school seniors who are proficient in math to serve as AmeriCorps tutors to the freshman and sophomore students. So, our high school students have the opportunity to earn a living allowance.”

For more information on AmeriCorps, call 859-200-3280.