After the devastating wildfires of 2016, Gatlinburg and Sevier County Tennessee are receiving unexpected help from the East Tennessee Homeschoolers (ETH) group. The ETH recently obtained induction into the National Beta Club, a non-profit educational organization that promotes today’s students to become tomorrow’s leaders. The motto of the National Beta Club is “Let Us Lead by Serving Others”, emphasizing that Service is one of the foundations of their mission.

When it came time to choose a service project this year the group chose as one of their projects Fire Prevention and Serving the People and Land of the 2016 Wildfire. The club presented their service mission and ideas at a National Beta Leadership Summit Expo, their Service Snapshot won a position as qualifier to present at The National Beta Club Convention in Oklahoma. Additionally the group competed in a National Founder’s Day Contest with the National Beta organization and placed first place in the nation. For the project they used FirewiseUSA as their model; kind messages were written on slices of wood from wildfire damaged trees from the Gatlinburg area and information was attached to show where to learn about fire prevention. These wood slices were then handed out at a public event in the area by group members.

To continue with their mission of service, the group is looking forward to serving their community in three areas: Education, Environment, and Community. In doing so they are working with the Tennessee Division of Forestry (TDF), the City of Gatlinburg, and other area communities to help promote Fire Prevention. In addition, they are currently working with the the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and TDF to help support a developing volunteer program that is intended to conduct wildfire mitigation around structures inside the national park.

Check out the National Beta Facebook as well as other social media platforms for the winning Founder’s Day project announcement on Wednesday, October 31st.

Rick Brown
Wildfire Mitigation Specialist
(865) 258-3891