JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Friday marks WJHL’s parent company Nexstar’s 26th anniversary, and to celebrate, the News Channel 11 team gave back to the community.
Nexstar’s Founders Day is a day every year where station crews across the country volunteer time to give back.
This year WJHL partnered with Coalition for Kids Inc., a nonprofit youth organization that aims to provide after-school care resources to children in need.
Coalition for Kids serves Johnson City Schools students, providing a free, K-8 after school program; one that is vital to many working families.
“Free childcare has been the number one push from day one,” said Bethany Patton, Director of Operations.
Right now C4K summer programming is in full swing, but the core of this organization and its mission is providing that after-school programming focusing on homework help, nutritious meals and educational fun.
“It’s sports and playtime, meals, but you go into those academic moments that are the biggest component. A lot of our students need that extra nudge,” said Patton.
Volunteers are vital to the organization.
“The volunteers add that extra touch, I call it the triple icing on the cake. Folks that come in and give back to these kids and help them even more than out staff can do,” said Cindy Young, Director of Community Outreach.
The WJHL team made the rounds Friday, not only spending time with the children, but helping mulch flower beds, raking up outside areas and working in the kitchen.
“Coalition for Kids is one of those places that does amazing things for kids and being able to be here today and see the kids and help out in the little way I can is just awesome,” said Sara Diamond, WJHL evening anchor and one of many volunteers.
A lot of growth is coming for Coalition for Kids. This fall the nonprofit is expanding to not only serve Johnson City Schools students, but also for the first time, Washington County, Tennessee students as well.
“That ability to replicate and duplicate and spread, it gives support to families that are everywhere. Rural or in the city,” said Patton.
Volunteers and full-time staff members will be be needed more than ever as that expansion kicks off this fall.
For more information about how to get involved, click here.