By Richard Rourk
Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. continues to give back to the community that it calls home with its sponsorship of a third annual Day of Volunteering to give back to local communities that have supported NFS for more than 60 years.
Thirteen employee-led teams with more than 70 volunteers matched up with schools and charitable organizations around the area. The team leaders worked with each organization to select projects that could benefit from volunteer assistance, with NFS allotting up to $500 for each project.
One of the largest projects that the volunteers from NFS took on was at the Unicoi County Public Library.
“UCPL is grateful to local donor NFS for investing in our Reading and Learning Garden, a green space that will be used for a variety of purposes,” said UCPL Director Selena Harmon.
“The area will feature pollinator and community vegetable gardens that can be enjoyed by all,” Harmon added. “Additionally, it will be used to safely host all-age programs and serve patrons looking to sit and read a book, study or work.”
NFS donated nearly $1,000 toward the library’s garden project.
“They purchased materials and provided volunteers to install mulch and edging,” Harmon said. “The project is ongoing, but NFS’s efforts bring us one step closer to completion.”
Harmon described the type of support provided by NFS as critical to bettering the county’s library, as well as its setting and services.
“We’re a small operation with an even smaller budget, so their contribution has a great impact,” she noted. “A big thank you to NFS and volunteers for dedicating time and resources.”
Following COVID-19 safety protocols to protect the health of all involved, NFS volunteers completed projects that included landscaping at locations like the Ronald McDonald House, sewing walker caddies for local nursing home residents, building recreational areas at Unicoi County schools and adding stone steps to cabins at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park.
“NFS and our employees are proud to be a part of the East Tennessee community, and we enjoyed the opportunity to do something special for these organizations alongside our coworkers and friends,” said NFS Communications Manager Laura Bailey.
“The team leads were very enthusiastic, and the volunteers found it fun and fulfilling,” Bailey added.
The projects for this year’s Day of Volunteering included: Rocky Fork State Park in Flag Pond, Martin Creek Cemetery in Erwin, Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park in Elizabethton, Unicoi County Middle School in Erwin, Love Chapel Elementary in Erwin, Ronald McDonald House in Johnson City), Misfit Hounds Animal Rescue in Hampton, Unicoi County Public Library in Erwin and Niswonger Children’s Hospital in Johnson City, as well as several local nursing homes and assisted living centers.