CARE 365 is a non-profit organization that focuses on caring about others. It provides food, clothes, furniture, guidance and understanding to people in need. A central part of the program also focuses on our youth by recognizing high school and college student-athletes based on their character.
Many people go through life believing that there is not a soul on earth that cares about them. The CARE 365 center works to disprove this notion.
Through personal life experiences, and after losing his own home to a fire, the founder of CARE 365, Dave Moore realized the importance of giving back as well as receiving.
Being an educator, and a high school football coach, the shooting incident at Columbine High School in 1999 really touched him. And after hearing from a number of people that the real problem in the schools was that no one "really cared" he decided to try to do something about it.
One night in 2001, as Moore was comforting his daughter Allie after a bad dream, she made a statement that would forever change his life. He asked her if she knew how much he loved her, and she answered she knew how much he "cared." Something in the word "care" moved him, and he came up with the idea of the CARE program. CAREacter Star Student
As a high school teacher, Moore began to implement activities within the schools. His program breathed encouragement to students by showing them that people care about them. For example, Moore began celebrating each student's and school employee's birthday. They also set up CARE tables at schools with volunteers from the community to meet and speak with students.
CAREacter Star Athlete of the Week
Having coached high school football for more than 15 years, Moore took another step in 2005 by initiating the CAREacter Star Athlete of the Week award.
The award recognizes student-athletes based on their off-the-field contributions first and performance second. The coaches of each team select the recipients by their attitude, character, grades, community service and performance.
The award consists of a T- shirt and a letter of recognition written to the recipients giving them words of appreciation and encouragement. Everyone receives the same award regardless of which school.
By 2006, the award attracted numerous Knox County high schools, two high schools in Virginia, one in Kentucky and one in Georgia. Colleges like Maryville College, Carson Newman, UT-Chattanooga and The University of Tennessee also started to participate. Some UT athletes who achieved the award last year were India Chiles, Wayne Chism, Monica Abbott, Jarred Frazier and Erik Ainge.
Farragut High School football coach Eddie Courtney said the players are really embracing the award, evidenced by students on campus wearing the shirts. His team discusses the award every week as they prepare to "do things the right way", which turns out to be the motto of the award.
Knox County Schools' Athletics Director Marion Quin said that the winner may not always be the starter on the field Friday night.
Some high schools of fame that have jumped on board are Texas' Odessa Permian from the book and movie "Friday Night Lights," as well as Indiana's Milan High School from the movie 'Hoosiers." At least one school from every state in the country will be handing out the same award next year.
CARE 365 has developed rapidly in its five-year history. The program has accrued many Tennessee athletes such as Former football players Bruce Wilkerson, Jay Graham, Bill Bates and former basketball player Dane Bradshaw.
"Doing right" is not a quality that is reserved to only the most skilled athletes but to everyone.
Any interested volunteers can reach CARE 365 at 865-966-CARE.
"Caring begins in the heart." From the beginning, the CARE 365 motto has been "Care More, Complain Less!"