Operation UNITE was visited on Friday, October 13, by videographer Herby Smith to obtain footage for possible use in a mini-documentary series on the importance of national service and people working to change their communities. UNITE was selected as an example of the impact that federal funding for national service has had on critical issues at a local level.

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After visiting with UNITE President/CEO Nancy Hale and Deputy Director Tom Vicini, Smith traveled to Rockcastle County where he filmed a “Too Good For Drugs” lesson given by UNITE Service Corps member Nacole Smith in Jamie McQueen’s fifth-grade classroom.

Smith also filmed interviews with UNITE Service Corps Director Melinda Kincer; Mt. Vernon Elementary School Principal James “J.D.” Bussell, a board member with Rockcastle UNITE Coalition; MVES Guidance Counselor Cindy McCullough, a former USC site advisor and Education Chair of the Rockcastle coalition; MVES Teacher Michelle Martin, a former USC member and coalition volunteer; Benji Hammons, UNITE Prevention Curriculum Specialist and former USC member; and Rockcastle County Middle School Family Resource and Youth Service Center Director Angie Payne, a board member of the Rockcastle Coalition.

The day concluded with the annual UNITE Bowl football game between Rockcastle County and Clay County. This event featured a “Wipe Out Drugs” toilet paper drive competition between the two schools and a half-time balloon launch. More than 15,000 rolls of toilet paper were collected and donated to four treatment centers in the region.

The documentary is being produced by New York-based NationSwell in partnership with Service Year Alliance. Pictures from the visit may be found at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/uniteky/albums/72157687480018020