Students team with firefighters for back-to-school

Katie Law , Tom Connolly , Theresa McKenrick
Roane State students in the local Rotaract Club teamed up with Clinton firefighters recently to load new backpacks with back-to-school supplies for students.

“I love doing it,” Roane State student and Rotaract Club President Katie Law said as she paused from her volunteer duties. “It gives you a sense of purpose.”

At the same time, Katie is receiving public service hour credits needed to fulfill scholarship requirements.

The Clinton Rotary Club and the Noon Rotary Club of Oak Ridge sponsor the Rotaract Club at Roane State, and about a dozen collegians now participate, said Tom Connolly, the youth service officer for the Clinton Club.

Rotaract stands for “Rotary in Action” and is an organization for young men and women between the ages of 18 and 30. It focuses on the development of members as leaders in their communities and workplaces. Rotary International sponsors more than 9,000 Rotaract Clubs. Connolly said there are about a dozen Roane State students in the local Rotaract Club.

ADFAC (Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties) is an Oak Ridge-based nonprofit that provides a variety of services to low-income families in East Tennessee counties to help them become self-sufficient.

As part of its efforts, ADFAC recruits some of its more than 200 volunteers to fill about 3,500 backpacks each year, said ADFAC official Becky Hook.

Students on the free and reduced lunch program in all 33 schools in Anderson County and four Morgan County schools benefit from the local program.

ADFAC also does home repairs for eligible residents and provides a variety of social services for those in need. Learn more at


Caption: Katie Law, left, a Roane State student and president of the local Rotaract Club, helps load a backpack with school supplies at the Oak Ridge office of ADFAC, or Aid to Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties. Tom Connolly, the youth service officer for the Clinton Rotary Club, and Theresa McKenrick, a Roane State alumnus, are also pictured.