Blessed to Be a Blessing

67014_433510020064394_2145360440_nA letter was recently sent to our executive board thanking TASC Force for a donation our organization had made to Sustainable Cambodia and our Cambodian brothers and sisters. Our donation provided 10 bikes for students to use as transportation to and from their school, which is sometimes miles away from their village. The letter below explains everything so much better than I could even try to do.

Thank You TASC Force

As a member of TASC, I have talked about why we do what we do, the statistics and stories behind our organization. But I have never stated that above all else, we are the ones most blessed by our service. We have the resources AND the opportunity to help others in our back yard, but also people whom we have never met. We made an impact. These people are part of us and we are part of them. We have a bond as thick and as deep as blood. This is why we are blessed: we are blessed to be a blessing to others.
Bikes

Do we stop?

Do we stop because we see no change from our service?

T.A.S.C Force has seen its second year and how amazing that year has been. It has been a year filled with serving meals, constructing and painting bike racks, percentage night fundraisers, donating winter coats, playing with children from the Boys and Girls Club, teaching 1st graders with Junior Achievement and more. But many would argue are you really making a difference if you see not change in behavior from those you serve? I would shout a resounding YES. We have not set out to cure our community, but to make a difference with individuals.

T.A.S.C. Force has made its personal mission to make one child smile, bring one more meal to a homeless individual and to change this community one person at a time. There is no cure, no vaccine to solve social injustice and other issues. However, this student non-profit organization is something extraordinary to have on the campus of UTK. No one asks for thank you’s or recognition, and isn’t that what service is supposed to be? True self-less, altruistic behavior. As one thinks more and more about others in front of themselves, it becomes easier and easier to see the next TASC to approach.

T.A.S.C Force is only one link in the chain. The next link connects to the local organizations in Knoxville and on the other side Sustainable Cambodia. Those links are bonded to Cambodia Villages, homeless individuals and abandoned children. Is there a limit to who can be touched?

So, to answer the question from the beginning, NO, we do not stop, we forge forward, we continue to serve and extend our hand and hearts to those who need it most.

-TASC

Got a Date for Spring Break?

While most students are packing their bags and heading out for a sunshine spring break, others are taking an alternate route on the map.

The Center for Leadership & Service at University of Tennessee has set up alternative break programs for students wanting to participate. According to the center’s website, their mission of the Alternative Break Program is to engage students in meaningful and collaborative community service in an effort to increase awareness of social issues and strengthen the communities in which they serve as well as foster a strong sense of community among trip participants and to the university as a whole.

This spring break, there are three different ASB trips being taken. The groups will be traveling to Washington, DC to help with Urban Poverty; Tallahassee, Fla., working with the underrepresented homeless; and Miami, Fla., assisting with preserving the Everglades and Biscayne Bay National Parks.

As T.A.S.C. Force’s mission is to raise awareness about human/social issues around the world, we hope that these students create, as we call, the domino effect of their selfless activities when traveling over the break.

A world problem: obligation over true service

Think to yourself. What do you do because you “have” to not because you “want” to?

In today’s world, people complain about the smallest task. Do I have to stay an extra hour at work? I’m only doing this community service to get the hours. Is it necessary I go home for the weekend to spend time with my family? Things are done only because we feel the need that we have to.

When thinking of third-world countries, things are done not only because they are obligations, but also because they want and NEED to be. Examples such as: walking miles to get fresh water, finding food and shelter for families, and consoling a loved one with a life-threatening disease and no medicine to help.

If we took a moment to think, we would realize the drastic selfishness that has overcome today’s society. In a world where countless cultures need help, we tend to think of only ourselves. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Challenge yourself to be that change. Instead of wasting time complaining, go and help an organization near to your heart. Give yourself the self-satisfaction. It is the utmost rewarding gift to receive.
So when you are placed in a situation where this question arises; remember that our actions should be selfless, not selfish; helping, not hurting; and rewarding, not troubling.

T.A.S.C. Receives Break Out Organization of the Year

T.A.S.C. Force is proud to announce that on Thursday, March 7, 2013 that our organization won the Break Out Organization of the Year at the 8th Annual African American Image Awards at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. We are so honored to accept this award. It has been an amazing journey from August of 2011 when the organization was founded until now. There is so much we have accomplished, but we know the responsiblity we have and know that our work is far from finished.
Thank you to everyone in the organization that has made this award a possibility.

Break out org of year award

What Would it Look Like?

So many times we ask ourselves, if we could change the pain or trouble we see in this world, how much different would this life we live be?
We have all seen the commercials that address this issue: if we begin doing random selfless acts for others and then they in return do a selfless act for another, a cycle begins. The snowball effect of service and kindness gains strength. It can change how we treat others in general because when others begin to take precedence, things begin to change.
Our world has many problems within it; however, maintain hope that there can be a change, a shift is essential to our future. Below I have listed 10 of the most chilling statistics our world has today. They are bone-chilling, yes, but without action these statistics stay the same or become worse. Without people stepping up and speaking out, there is no progress, and these are just words on a page.

• Almost half the world — over 3 billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.

• Some 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack basic sanitation.

• Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.

• Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.

• 1 billion children live in poverty (1 in 2 children in the world). 640 million live without adequate shelter, 400 million have no access to safe water, 270 million have no access to health services. 10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (or roughly 29,000 children per day).

• According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”

• Infectious diseases continue to blight the lives of the poor across the world. An estimated 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS, with 3 million deaths in 2004. Every year there are 350–500 million cases of malaria, with 1 million fatalities: Africa accounts for 90 percent of malarial deaths and African children account for over 80 percent of malaria victims worldwide.

• For the 1.9 billion children from the developing world, there are:
o 640 million without adequate shelter (1 in 3)
o 400 million with no access to safe water (1 in 5)
o 270 million with no access to health services (1 in 7)

• Worldwide,
o 2.2 million children die each year because they are not immunized
o 15 million children orphaned due to HIV/AIDS (similar to the total children population in Germany or United Kingdom)
• Children out of education worldwide: 121 million

My challenge today is to make these statistics more than words and numbers, but make them sounds and actions for a better world! What would your world look like? What would our world look like if we discarded our cynical, don’t care attitudes and started truly caring, moving, doing?

-CG

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for Sustainable Cambodia and Coats for K.A.R.M.

KARM driveThis is one of many ongoing service projects the organization planned for the month of February. Others include a winter clothes drive to benefit the Knoxville Area Rescue Mission with the support of the University of Tennessee Residence Halls, Quarry Trail Apartments, and Gateway Apartments.

Also, a fundraiser aiding Sustainable Cambodia, the organization’s international partner for the Global Mission committee, has also been extended for the convenience of the students. Pre-sale can be purchased from any T.A.S.C. Force member for $7. The last day of pre-ordering will be Feb. 26 and the delivery date is March 1.

All proceeds from this event will go to supporting villages in Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge. The organization strives to provide sustainability and empowerment by teaching techniques, such as farming procedures, in order to leave a lasting legacy beyond monetary donations after they leave. The organization hopes to reach its $10,000 goal by the end of the semester. It has already donated $2,000 to provide nourishing meals for a pre-school for over nine months and bicycles for college and high school students. Krispy Kreme

Founded in 2011, T.A.S.C. Force is newly formed service based organization at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. The T.A.S.C. Force mission is to raise awareness about human/social issues around the world. By educating the minds of our generation we hope to create a domino
effect of selfless activities for those in desperate need.

For more information about Sustainable Cambodia, please visit http://www.sustainablecambodia.org