Local News

April 9, 2014

Community Champions recognized for service

CHATSWORTH — Emily Trammell operates a clothes closet with so much integrity that her classmates at Murray County High School feel comfortable coming to her in private when they need something.

Trammell, a senior at the high school, stocks clothes, pants, socks, shoes and even underwear in all sizes, as well as personal hygiene items, to help her fellow students.

She doesn’t do this as part of a club or for anything required of her.

She does it because she saw a need in her school and she wanted to give back.

For the clothes closet and all the other areas where Trammell volunteers at school and in the community, the Family Connection organization named her the student recipient of its annual Community Champion award on Wednesday during a luncheon at the Murray County recreation department.

Jan McNeill received the adult Community Champion award for her numerous efforts in the community. The Community Champion is a volunteer who was nominated by someone in the community, then chosen by a panel from among the nominees for going above and beyond. All nominees were recognized at the luncheon.

“I’m blessed and fortunate to live in a community where so many have a passion for helping others,” said Murray Sole Commissioner Brittany Pittman during the luncheon. “You are (meeting) those needs that are abundant in the community. All of you here play a vital role in the community. Thanks for all you do and for making this a better community to live in.”

Trammell is so well-trusted among her peers that they go to her privately to let her help take care of their needs, said Tammy West, a member of the Family Connection board of directors.

“She makes sure the clothes are clean and ready to wear,” West said. “She makes sure students are successful in school by meeting their needs.”

Trammell said she started the closet because she wanted to give back to her school.

“This school gave so much to me,” she said. “The school means so much to me and everyone here means so much to me. I was very honored people look at me and think I deserve (the award).”

Her school counselor, Margaret Redmond, said Trammell doesn’t do things for recognition. She does them because she is truly that selfless of a person.

“She’s one of a kind,” Redmond said. “She always sees the best in other people. ... It fills a need for the high school because people know kids need clothes, but they don’t always think teens do.”

The closet is open to students whether their family has hit hard times, they violated the dress code, left their coat at home and are cold, or whatever their situation.

But it has benefited families in need. One girl came to Trammell because her family had hit a hard time and needed assistance. Trammell was able to help provide clothes and got members of Sumach Cumberland Presbyterian Church to help meet the family’s other needs.

Trammell also volunteers for Community Christmas, the Saturday Sacks program, with Thanksgiving boxes, Student Council Recycling and Keep Murray Beautiful, dresses as Mimi the Clown at local hospitals for patients, participates in the Boys and Girls Club reading program and is involved in several organizations at the school.

“Emily is a constant ray of sunshine to be around, and she is one of those very rare and special people that make such a big difference in the world,” wrote one person who nominated her. “Murray County is so blessed to have her as such an amazing citizen!”

Trammell plans to attend Dalton State College and eventually work in agriculture.

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