By Elijah Manship
Julia Gilmore is a senior at Science Hill who has raised over $80,000 for St. Jude over the last nine years. This year she has already raised over $27,000 during her ninth annual “Project Imagination” fundraiser.
Gilmore moved to Johnson City from Chicago, Illinois, in 2018, but her volunteer work started well before that. Gilmor’s first interest in volunteering came after seeing volunteers at the hospital.
“I was exposed to a lot of volunteers who gave their time and effort to make me feel better,” she said. “Once I got better around the age of 9, I wanted to give back.”
She got in contact with the St. Jude fundraising committee and asked how she could help. The representative told her that they needed tie blankets. She said, “They wanted tie blankets and I just took off from there. After delivering those blankets to the hospital when I was 9, I just decided to keep doing it over and over again.”
After her first taste of serving her community, Gilmore continued to help those in need time and time again.
Along with the work that she does with St. Jude, she also gives her time to both the Ronald McDonald House and Coalition for Kids organizations. “It’s really given me a lot of perspective on those who are less fortunate,” said Gilmore.
When Gilmore is not volunteering, she is an active member of her student government, a varsity cheerleader and president of the Science Hill Beta Club.
While Gilmore spends a lot of time serving other groups, she is also the founder of the Gilmore Giving Tree. The Gilmore Giving Tree is the platform in which Gilmore promotes her St, Jude fundraising, other community projects as well as information on how to get involved in your community.
When asked if she had any tips on how to start volunteering, Gilmore said, “Just dive into what connects to you and what you’re passionate about. I had a personal connection with St. Jude, and that’s what drove me year after year.”
The “Project Imagination” fundraiser runs through Sept. 15. Over $27,000 has been raised for St. Jude this year alone through The Gilmore Giving Tree. Visit gilmoregivintgree.org for more information on “Project imagina
tion” or to make a donation.
“Whether it be they have kids who are in need or they don’t have a home or they don’t have enough money to pay for their next meal, just being able to help those who are less fortunate than I am has given me a lot of perspective on how grateful I am that I’m in a position to help others.” said Gilmore.