Volunteer opportunities abound for those looking to give back to the community. There are a variety of ways to help as a volunteer, including the following services provided by Villagers for Villagers.
STAY in TV
In a community with more than 7,000 residents, the majority being older adults, there is a growing emphasis for Tellico Villagers to help their neighbors “age in place.” That concept is at the core of the STAY in TV initiative. Neighbors helping neighbors stay in their homes as they age.
A wide-range of programs and resources have been developed to aid older Villagers. These programs include: home maintenance, ride sharing, grocery shopping, informational events and life-long learning opportunities. The STAY in TV group has identified various resources to help older Villagers prepare for late life transitions and posted these materials on its website and made them available at the Public Library at Tellico Village.
A large-scale initiative such as STAY in TV is dependent on a variety of community and commercial organizations.
Tellico Village Volunteer Fire Department (TVVFD)
The Tellico Village Volunteer Fire Department is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation under contract to the Tellico Village Property Owners Association (TVPOA) to provide emergency medical service and fire rescue service within Tellico Village. The firehouse on Chota Road is owned by the TVPOA.
The TVVFD team is made up of 36 Village volunteers who are on-call 24 hours a day/7 days a week, trained and motivated to serve the people of Tellico Village.
The firefighting team includes 14 licensed Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and 22 licensed First Responders. Of the 36 firefighters, 14 are certified Vehicle Extrication Technicians, two are certified Emergency Vehicle Operator Instructors, one is a certified first responder instructor, and three are American Heart Association certified CPR/AED instructors.
As volunteers, these Villagers receive no remuneration for their service and work for the satisfaction of knowing they are helping fellow Villagers. They are proud of their quick response to Village emergencies, with an average response time of four minutes from the time a call is received from Loudon County 911 dispatch services. The national average is eight to ten minutes.
The TVVFD recently underwent an extensive analysis and evaluation of its firefighting proficiency. Conducted by the Insurance Services Institute/Public Protection Classification Program, it resulted in a substantial improvement in the department’s rating. The TVVFD is now rated a 4 out of 10 (1 is best) and that places the department above 80% of the more than 48,000 paid or volunteer departments that underwent similar evaluations.
These ratings, a measure of proficiency, are then utilized by most insurance companies in the underwriting process to calculate premiums for residential, commercial and industrial properties. The TVVFD’s outstanding ISO rating has helped lower Villager annual home premiums.
Tellico Boaters Assistance Response Team (T-BART)
T-BART responds and assists any stranded boaters on Tellico Lake. This group of Village volunteers provides non-emergency, non-medical assistance to boaters in need every day of the year from 10 a.m. to sundown. Two-man crews respond to calls from the Loudon County 911 dispatch helping provide service to stranded boaters at no charge.
The organization trains its members and provides the necessary equipment to assist boaters in trouble on the lake.
T-BART regularly holds educational sessions for Villagers interested in learning about Tellico Lake and teaching new boaters proper safety techniques to ensure their time on the lake is enjoyable.
Watershed Association of the Tellico Reservoir (WATeR)
The Watershed Association of the Tellico Reservoir supports policies and projects that protect and improve the environment in and around the Tellico Reservoir (Tellico Lake). The association is non-profit and non-partisan. The focus is on issues, policies, and practices that promote clean air, water, and natural habitat so that humans can live, work, and play in harmony with native plants and animals as well as with each other.
The association strives to work cooperatively with governmental agencies and private organizations with similar goals and responsibilities for environmental protection and appropriate quality economic growth. Public education and demonstration projects are emphasized to make not only Villagers but all area residents aware of environmentally friendly practices that affect the watershed.
WATeR strives to involve all stakeholders and to represent everyone interested in preserving and enhancing the environmental quality of the Tellico Reservoir Watershed. Recently, working with the Tennessee Valley Authority, WATeR completed building more than 30 miles of hiking trails on the east shore of Tellico Lake. The trail system was recognized as being part of the National Trail System by the United States Department of Interior in May 2012.
In March of each year, WATeR mobilizes more than 400 Tellico Lake residents to conduct an annual spring cleanup of the lake’s shoreline and surrounding area. Historically, the group removes seven to eight tons of winter debris during this annual event.
Citizen’s Observer Patrol (COPs)
Citizen’s Observer Patrol consists of Village volunteers who are trained in security measures. Sanctioned by the Loudon County Sherriff’s Office, they patrol Tellico Village and areas adjacent to the community.
The COPs program is designed to allow citizens to assist law enforcement by being an extra set of “eyes and ears,” and immediately report suspicious activity, potential hazards and even crimes in progress to the Sheriff’s Office. COPs volunteers also do home checks for residents who are on vacation or away from their homes for extended periods.
COPs keep watchful eyes on the security of the Village throughout the year.
Committed to keeping the Tellico Parkway (Tennessee State Route 444) free of litter and debris, the Litter Angels frequently patrol the roadway. Adorned in iridescent yellow vests, holding garbage bags in one hand and a debris picker in the other, Litter Angel members scour the entire 11-mile highway.
Through their efforts, the Tellico Parkway is continually one of the cleanest highways in the Loudon County.
Other Community Service Organizations
Countless Villagers are involved in traditional, long-time community service organizations. The following all have chapters in the community:
These are just some of the volunteer organizations that provide services and support to the Village. Many other area non-profits and charitable groups depend on Villagers for their time and skills to better Greater Knoxville.