On Wednesday, October 14, Tennessee first lady Maria Lee and Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn visited Westwood Elementary to assist the Manchester City Schools Family Resource Center in processing and packaging student needs fulfilled through the Tennessee Serves Purposity campaign. 

The initiative works with the Tennessee Serves Purosity app, a one-stop connection between local nonprofits and the people they want to help.

“We launched Tennessee Serves with the goal of mobilizing Tennesseans to serve their neighbors and volunteer in their communities, and through this partnership, Tennesseans can know exactly what a student or family needs and how to help,” said first lady Lee. “We are honored to highlight the districts and Family Resource Centers participating in this campaign, and we hope that Tennesseans will use Purposity to serve their neighbors in need across the state.”

During the tour of Westwood, Lee and Schwinn prepared care baskets with district Family Resource Coordinator BJ Syliva and other district administrators. They handed out a basket to the DeJesus family.  

“When the four children came to see what was in the basket. To watch the smile on their faces and the joy that they had for the items that they got…it was rewarding and lets me know that this app is doing great things not only in Manchester, but across the state,” Lee said.  

The Tennessee Serves initiative has partnered with the Department of Education and Purposity, a free app, to streamline how Tennesseans can serve individuals, families, and students by fulfilling needs directly from their phone. Over 40 districts have joined the Tennessee Serves campaign on the Purposity app to post the needs of the students and families their communities.

Schwinn added that the need is high, especially now more than ever.

“Having apps like Purposity to connect the community is incredibly important,” she said.

“This district is incredible in terms of how much they have been able to support their families. There are tons of nonprofits that want to help schools. They just don’t know how.”

Schwinn said added that Manchester City Schools has a long history of doing community service.

“It’s a ready great way when you can see districts, families and the community all working together in a beautiful way. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the work that they are doing here.  

 Manchester City Schools has posted hundreds of needs through the district’s Family Resource Center. First lady Lee and Commissioner Schwinn will help prepare the needs that have been fulfilled by users on Purposity.

"We are so thrilled the first lady has launched this effort to engage Tennesseans to help meet student and family needs across our state,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “In these uncertain times, the work of our Family Resource Centers is so important, and we are grateful for the opportunity to visit Manchester City Schools and be a small part of the amazing work they are doing to ensure students have what they need.”



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