Spreading holiday cheer
Call it a pre-holiday gift or just good people helping a good cause. However you describe it, the recent volunteer effort by Y-12’s Serve Our Service Members certainly made a difference to the exterior areas of the Holiday Bureau.
Since 1945, the Holiday Bureau, a nonprofit organization, has provided toys, books, games, food, and other items to low income families in Anderson County. The items are donated by the community then prepared and recycled for distribution by volunteers.
While their work is concentrated to the holidays, the bureau provides assistance year round to eligible families.
“The Holiday Bureau staff (all nonpaid volunteers) lead the charge in their daily tasks to ensure that families, especially children, are not forgotten at Christmas,” said Mike Fierley, chair of SOS. “We saw an opportunity to improve their facilities and did it.”
The work included sanding and painting trailers used to store gifts; replacing gutter work that was in disrepair or missing; building, designing, and painting new wooden doors and installing them; and clearing leaves and other debris from the site.
All this work was done by Y-12 volunteers and members of SOS, an affinity group at Y-12. While Fierley led the effort and continues to be a leading force in the organization, he credits two strong leaders, Vice Chair Jamie Upgraft and Secretary Sundi Wright, for the group’s success.
“We created SOS 3 years ago to recognize the needs of military members in the Y-12 workforce,” Fierley said. “We’ve been able to do that and more. We are incredibly blessed. SOS gives us an outlet to pass it forward and help those in our community who need a helping hand.”