Elks Lodge receives grant to support ‘Bundles of Love’

Published 8:09 am Friday, December 1, 2017

As Christmas approaches, one local civic club celebrated the spirit of giving by helping to meet the needs of children in the community.

The Elizabethton Elks Lodge received a $2,500 grant from the Elks National Foundation and put the money to use by purchasing items for the TLC Community Center’s Bundles of Love program.

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Local Elks Lodges can apply to the Elks National Foundation to receive a “Promise Grant” to complete service projects in their community. The grants are awarded based on the need in the community and for the proposed project to address that need.

Over the past few years, the Elizabethton Elks Lodge has been the recipient of a Promise Grant according to Jacklynn Morris, the Exalted Ruler of the local lodge. In the past, the Elks Lodge has used the grant funds to support projects such as art programs in local schools or assisting Cap the Gap For Foster Care. This year, Morris said, the Lodge selected the TLC Community Center’s Bundles of Love as their grant project.

“I saw a story in the Star with Angie (Odom) talking about children standing out in the cold at bus stops needing hats and gloves,” Morris said. The article in the newspaper talked about the Bundles of Love project started by TLC Community Center Director Angie Odom and how it hoped to provide items such as hats, gloves, school supplies, food, and hygiene items to children in need throughout the community.

Morris submitted the grant application to the Elks National Foundation describing the need in the community and the Bundles of Love project through the TLC Community Center.

‘They sent it back and said ‘OK,’ and I said ‘Yay,’” Morris said.

The Elizabethton Elks Lodge partnered with the TLC Community Center to see what items were most needed for the bundles. The Lodge then used the grant funds to purchase school supplies, hats, and gloves for the Bundles of Love as well as some coats for the TLC Center to hand out to children served by its programs.

While giving back to the community is one of the missions of the Elks Lodge, for Morris helping her community really hits home.

As a child, Morris was diagnosed with scoliosis. She underwent multiple surgeries and hospitalizations. Her father also passed away when she was young, and the family struggled financially.

Now, when Morris sees a need in the community she remembers the help her family received, and she looks for ways to help in any way she can.

“We got a lot of help from others when I was a child,” Morris said. “I know the difference it can make.”