River Riders come to aid of local nonprofit

Published 2:20 pm Tuesday, August 9, 2022

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By Angela Cutrer
Elizabethton Star
The River Riders baseball team galloped to the rescue Friday to help outfit a donated bus to be used to aid women in recovery efforts.
“We were very excited for this and always so welcoming to the United Way of East Tennessee Highlands (UWAY) for its assisting Red Legacy Recovery and its staff,” Executive Director Samantha Loveday said. She thanked the River Riders baseball team members as well for their dedication to a community project.
Each year, UWAY conducts a “day of giving,” a time when they orchestrate community partnerships with nonprofits that receive UWAY funding. These partnerships allow a way for communities that benefit from UWAY funding to help in other ways.
Red Legacy Recovery, a recovery support program located strategically in Elizabethton, serves the recovery community of the upper eight counties of East Tennessee.
“UWAY assisted Red Legacy Recovery with a school bus for our Mobile SSP Program, donated from Coalition for Kids, Inc.,” Loveday explained. “In order for our Mobile SSP Program to become mobile, the bus needed to be converted and updated.”
To help with volunteer opportunities, UWAY’s community impact coordinator Abraham McIntyre reached out to Loveday about their day of giving, which was held Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“United Way of East Tennessee Highlands is a conduit for service and bringing community resources together to make a greater impact,” McIntyre said. “When the River Riders reached out to us about their players fulfilling their community service hours, we knew exactly how to plug them in.
“Their work with Red Legacy is a perfect example of how ‘a small group of committed citizens can change the world.’ And we have plenty of other service opportunities in the area. Please reach out to us when you’d like to ‘Live United’ and volunteer with one of our amazing local agencies.”
The Red Legacy Recovery Program is “…designed and tailored to women within their recovery period,” said Loveday. “A dream of mine was to utilize another source for harm reduction within our eight counties, so the idea of our mobile syringe service program (SSP) came to life.”
The Mobile SSP Program is not an umbrella project under Red Legacy Recovery — it is its own program with separate funding sources under UWAY and private donors, Loveday added.
Loveday’s partners in the Mobile SSP Project include Kim Crowder and Dr. Joyce Troxler.

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