Scannelli column: Clemmons Feeds Clemmons — and beyond

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 30, 2020

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All the creative and heartwarming initiatives born from this pandemic help to lift our spirits and hope amidst all the tragic losses. It reminds me of the image of the flower that finds its way through a crack in the concrete.

Tracy Bott is one of those blooming flowers. Tracy and her husband, Tom, and their two children, Casey and Emily, relocated from Middletown, N.Y. to Clemmons less than a year ago. Grateful for their new community and new friends, Bott felt compelled to do something to give back. Her friend in Connecticut launched an initiative that inspired Bott to replicate the idea. With the help of friend Susan Preston, co-worker Lou Anna Smolowe, and the Clemmons Community Foundation, Clemmons Feeds Clemmons launched last weekend. It is more than an effort to feed the hungry — a worthy enough cause, especially right now. And it reaches a little farther than Clemmons to include north Davidson County and Lewisville. Donations to Clemmons Feeds Clemmons will be used to purchase gift certificates from locally-owned, independent restaurants. Then, the gift certificates will be given to local families of school-aged children with parent(s) who are struggling due to job reduction or loss. Not all of these families are eligible for unemployment. Both are heartbreaking situations. Both are trying to stay afloat. Every dollar will benefit these two purposes — helping our local restaurants stay afloat and bringing a little joy to a less-than-joyful season for a local family. Nice idea! If you like Bott’s idea, you can help support Clemmons Feeds Clemmons with an online donation. Go to

You’ve probably noticed there are many needs and causes to support right now. Every gesture of support to any of these causes affirms that we are a community, serving each other and connected by care and compassion for those who are struggling. Despite all the suffering, there are countless stories of generosity. As examples, Clemmons Food Pantry is grateful for the outpouring of support. Local faith organization members are sewing masks and finding other ways to use their gifts to serve others. The collective generosity of everyone’s contributions — no matter where or what you give — will help get us through. What a beautiful example for students, especially when they are involved and serving, too. Importantly, you water the flowers that are finding a way through the concrete.

We continue to celebrate all our residents from new to natives, young to young-in-spirit, who jump in to help others. This is a great place to live because every resident does their part to continue the culture of service in our community as its forefathers and foremothers envisioned. A hearty welcome to North Carolina, Tracy, Tom, Casey and Emily.

Sandi Scannelli is president and CEO of the Clemmons Community Foundation.