FTDD Foundation LogoThe First Tennessee Development District administers programs that address some of the most crucial social issues inNortheast Tennessee, including food insecurity and substandard housing in older low-income adults, workforce development for high school students, and childhood literacy. State and federal funding for these programs is limited, resulting in long waiting lists for services and missed opportunities for FTDD to make a greater impact on the residents of the region.

To mitigate these funding limitations the FTDD Foundation,  the nonprofit 501(c)3 arm of the Development District, was created  to pursue private fundraising and grant awards that allow FTDD to serve greater numbers of Northeast Tennesseans in need.

Charitable contributions can be directed toward a specific program or area of special concern like those outlined below, or toward the Foundation’s general fund. Whether you support programs that help our most vulnerable seniors live safely in their homes as they age, our youngest children gain the reading skills they will need to be successful, or growing the regional economy by ensuring a new generation of skilled employees, your financial support is crucial.

Home-Delivered Meals

Home Delievered Meals Hunger in Northeast Tennessee is a critical problem. Three of the region’s eight counties have food-insecurity rates of 15–19 percent of the total population, and seniors are among the most vulnerable.  To combat this issue, the First Tennessee Area  Agency on Aging and Disability (FTAAAD) provides nutritious home-delivered meals to more than a thousand qualified older adults, but there are just as many on the waiting list due to a lack of program funds. Just $130 a month or $1,560 a year provides hot weekday meals for a homebound senior on our waiting list and ensures that they have access to nutritious food and can continue to live independently in their homes.

Emergency Assistance Program

Another program helping low-income seniors is the FTAAAD Emergency Assistance Program. This program, which provides payments for small (less than $200) yet crucial needs that qualified seniors are unable to afford on their own, receives no state or federal funding. Instead it is solely supported through fundraising efforts. Approximately 20–30 older adults in need per year are currently being assisted through the EAP, but greater funding means that greater numbers of older adults can be helped with necessities like eyeglasses, pest control, new locks, and other requests.

Emergency Repairs for the Elderly

Emergency Repair RampFor very low-income seniors with deteriorating houses, FTDD’s Housing department administers an emergency-repair program that addresses severe issues that could prevent owners from remaining safely in their homes as they age. Eligible applicants must meet age and income requirements, have ownership interest in the property, and participants are required to pay 25% of the total cost in match dollars. Donations to the Foundation may be used for these matching funds, allowing seniors who cannot afford a quarter of the costs to still have necessary repairs completed.

CareerQuest TN 

CareerQuest TN CareerQuest TN is an interactive career fair for middle- and high-school students in Northeast Tennessee that is sponsored by private-sector industries and administered by FTDD. These annual events expose students to the array of careers in healthcare, advanced manufacturing, construction and IT available in this region, as well as the education and training required to attain them. Participating employers have the opportunity to engage their future workforce and demonstrate exactly what their positions entail and how best to achieve them.


SHAREAnother issue our region faces is the number of students who are unprepared to enter kindergarten, which ultimately impacts reading proficiency.  The period from birth to age five is a critical time for language development and one way to impact school readiness is to ensure students  are exposed to reading, verbal communication, vocabulary from birth. SHARE encourages parents and caregivers to read, share and talk with children in this age group every day, and connects them with local resources like book buses and neighborhood libraries. The SHARE initiative also includes expanding summer outreach programs and developing year-round literacy programs.

For more information on the FTDD Foundation, please contact Mark Stevans, (423) 928-0224.