By Christy Ulmet
As Christmas approached, Trevecca students Trevin and Lee Davis were faced with the sad reality that they were not going to spend the holiday with their mom. The Davis brothers needed to stay on campus at Trevecca to work in plant operations over the break and couldn't raise enough money to bring their mom up from Louisiana. Glen Linthicum, director of plant operations, heard about their difficulties and sent out a text to a group of Trevecca's vendors. Within 20 minutes, Linthicum raised $1300.
With the generosity of Linthicum and the willing vendors, Trevin and Lee’s mother was able to drive out in a rental car and see her boys. During their mother's stay, the boys were also given a Kroger gift card, a ham Linthicum gave them, and a Longhorn gift card. With all these gifts, Trevin and Lee were able to fill their pantry and take their mother out for dinner.
“Glen asked us if we were going to see our mother for Christmas break and we told him we couldn’t. He asked us how much everything would be, but we didn’t know because we hadn’t planned since we knew we wouldn’t have enough money,” Trevin said. “He came back with all this money. We weren’t expecting anything at all. We were shocked. It was a huge blessing from God. It was so unexpected.”
Situations like this are not uncommon at Trevecca. In May of 2012, Linthicum sent out a similar text to help raise money for an international student whose parents could not make it to his graduation and was able to quickly raise money by the hand of those who work at Trevecca.
“These are the people who mow our lawn, who clean our facilities, who do the jobs we need to keep our school running,” Linthicum said. “We overlook these people but they’re just as much a part of this family as the traditional undergrad or graduate student. These vendors are buying into the mission of our school in helping others.”
Trevecca is in its early stages of starting a committee called the Special Needs Committee for situations like Trevin and Lee’s, where students need assistance but cannot help themselves.
Peggy Cooning, vice president for external relations, is handling the donation processing responsibilities. The committee will exist to make the donation process more organized and provide tax credit recognition if desired. This will all be fairly informal, Cooning explained. Four of Trevecca’s faculty members have agreed to be on the committee. The group is comprised of Cooning, Tom Middendorf, (director for the center for leadership, calling and service), Chuck Seaman, (director for financial services), and Linthicum.
“We’re a broad group of people and we’re spread throughout the campus in spots where we hear of circumstances where students need help and can’t help themselves. That’s kind of how we came together as a group,” Cooning said.
“For the most part, the monies that are going to flow into this fund relate to the people who understand that there is a particular need, and they want to help that particular need. They’re using this fund as a means to get the funds to the student who has a need,” Cooning said.
“We live in a community that is a giving community. This is just one more way for our own Trevecca family to give back,” Cooning said.
To find out more information on the committee, or to donate towards the fund, call Peggy Cooning at (615) 248-1451.