Urban League looks back but plans for the future

Stacy ReedInside 640, On the Grow

The Knoxville Area Urban League (KAUL) “Empowers Communities and Changes Lives.” That’s our mission, and as we reflect on 2019 we ask ourselves how we can move forward. Well, we can’t, really, without looking back – the past teaches us and helps us grow. As the KAUL reflects on 2019, we judge it a great year! Out impact was big, but as we move forward our footprint must be bigger.

The KAUL has four main programs we implement: workforce development, economic and business development; housing and community services; and education and youth services. Every day we strive to serve our community better. Through classes, seminars and “Lunch & Learns,” we prepare our clients to join the workforce or start a business. Budgeting classes aim to prepare clients to purchase a home.

The best part of our job is knowing that we made a difference in someone’s life. So, when we see smiling faces of children receiving new school supplies or a new pair of shoes for the first day of school, that’s priceless.

Our annual “Shoes for School” event just gets bigger every year. Corporations, small businesses and volunteers all over the community come together early one Saturday morning every September to make sure kids in the community can start school with the supplies and confidence they need.

And let’s not forget about our NAS (National Achiever) scholars. These high school students not only volunteer their time but must maintain a 3.0 or above GPA. Five of our scholars have full scholarships to major universities in the fall of 2020.

The 2019 Equal Opportunities Gala was sold out! This year, we sold more tickets than we had in 10 years. We thank all our supporters and, of course, “The Clinton Twelve” for being the highlight of the evening. We are very grateful!

The Knoxville Area Urban League gets so much support from our corporate sponsors, very active board members and the community. But there is always so much that needs to be done.

We are excited about what we have in store for 2020 and look forward to a great year! We hope that you will follow us on social media and on our website for our upcoming events. www.thekaul.org

Stacy Reed is the director of development and marketing for the Knoxville Area Urban League.

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