Helping hands in Marion County

Helping hands in Marion County

December 9th, 2011 in Opinion Times

There's always a demand for more individuals, groups and agencies who are willing to provide assistance and services to those in need. The Hope Project wants to help meet that call in Marion County. The new philanthropic group will tackle its first projects today and tomorrow in several communities in the county.

The Hope Project is the creation of Steven Gilliam, whose interest in philanthropy, and Dusty and Ginger Tuders, whose desire to expand the community service outreach of their church's youth group, prompted discussions of how their common desire to serve could benefit residents of Marion County.

The group's focus is on small projects that will can produce immediate and meaningful impact in all of the county's communities. The group's initial projects today and tomorrow were selected with that goal in mind.

They include helping three families renovate their homes, providing improvements in both boys' and girls' locker rooms at the Marion County High School gymnasium, pouring a new sidewalk at Whitwell High School, working at Jasper's Paws of Love Dog Sanctuary and assisting at the food bank in Sequatchie. All are worthy projects that have languished without groups to help complete them.

Another Hope Project-based volunteer group will visit a retirement home in South Pittsburg. They'll pass out roses and chocolate bars to residents, sing carols and spend an afternoon conversing with individual residents. The effort is sure to be appreciated. Many nursing home residents -- in South Pittsburg and elsewhere -- have few visitors, and a change in routine, especially during the holiday season, is sure to lift spirits.

The Hope Project, like all philanthropic endeavors, can always use a little assistance in fulfilling its mission. To learn more about the group or to volunteer for a project, go to