PIKEVLLE – Since March 2, a dark cloud has hung over the state of Tennessee; a small but deadly outbreak of tornadoes wreaked havoc across much of the state, leaving in its wake millions of dollars worth of damage. Soon after that, the novel coronavirus had reached our great state. The one silver lining amid all the chaos and uncertainty has been the show of community spirit that has always made Tennesseans proud and earned us the nickname of the Volunteer State.
Whether it was clean up and rebuilding after the storms or providing services and resources to those in need during the COVID-19 crisis, neighbors and community members have rallied together to help one another pull through. For those in the Cookeville area, more help is coming, compliments of inmates at the Bledsoe County Correctional Complex (BCCX).
The Lifers Club, a group of inmates with sentences of 25 years or more who are committed to philanthropic work throughout the state, have spent the last several months raising money and collecting supplies to be donated to tornado relief efforts in Cookeville. Mere weeks after the storms, the Lifers Club were able to collect and send a little over $1,000 and approximately $500 worth of supplies to the Cookeville Community Center for tornado relief. They continued their efforts and after their latest campaign were able to raise an additional $5,537; the check was mailed to the Cookeville Community Center this week.
“A lot of people were hit hard by the storms, and with the coronavirus following right behind it, many have not been able to really focus on rebuilding and getting back on their feet,” said Chris, one of the members of the Lifers Club. “These are our communities too, and we want to help. This is the least we could do, and we help its able to positively impact the Cookeville’s community members in need.”
The Lifers Club has raised tens of thousands of dollars over the years for charitable causes including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Shriners Hospital, Second Harvest Food Bank, and the Van Buren County Schools.