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Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Historical Organizations

Mission: Founded in 1993, the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation (SYPF) is a nonprofit corporation funded by voluntary contributions and grants. It serves to continue historical research, preserve the Sgt. Alvin C. York home place, farm, Bible School and artifacts, develop and coordinate educational opportunities for youth and adults, increase sustainable heritage tourism to Sgt. York State Park and restore the 1920s-era York Institute building.

Programs: SYPF operates York General Store & Visitor Center for Sgt. York's home & surrounding area, including Alvin C. York State Historic Park. All attractions are free. The store/visitor center offers orientation video, brochures, maps, coordination of tours, headquarters for events, York & WWI souvenirs/books/gifts, food, supplies, etc.

Community Stories

42 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation is very important to Tennessee's future, as it is interwoven in Tennessee's historic and proud past. As a former Alvin C. York VAMC employee, I didn't know who Alvin C. York was. One day when roaming the halls of the Murfreesboro Campus, I was told by a veteran that I needed to watch the movie. When I did, it not only made me be proud to be an American, but proud to be from Tennessee. I have recently gone from the ranks of the unemployed to the employed, and plan on taking my grandchildren to Jamestown in the spring to tour the building and homeplace. There are so many places in the United States that have an important history and a legacy for Americans that are not being preserved. I think Sergeant York would be honored knowing that his legacy lives on. Not because of who he was, but because of what he was. A soldier who served his country with honor and courage.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I support the goal of keeping the Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation. Today the oldest survivor of World War I has died. It is important to keep the memory and legacy of those who fought that war alive.

Review from Guidestar

Advisor

Rating: 3

The Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation has made great accomplishments by stabilizing York Agricultural Institute, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Once restoration is complete, the building will be put to use once again and become a working monument.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I support the project to preserve the York Institute. As a genealogist, I think it is not only important to document the past but to maintain physical, solid connections to the past. Historical buildings are a way for us to connect with history. We must always know where we have come from to have a plan and understand where we are going.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Sgt York Patiotic Foundation is a wonderful organization. They are working tirelessly to preserve a piece on American History, York Institute built by America’s greatest World War I hero, Sgt. Alvin C. York.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As an educator, I feel it is important for students to know where they have come from and about the people who have risked their lives for our great freedoms. The Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation's goal is to inform people about Stg. Alvin C. York's great accomplishments and to use the school he built to help educate our students with vocational skills essential to our economy.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The SYPF is made of of volunteers who truly believe in keeping the story of Sgt. York alive for future generations to learn about. By preserving the places that were so important to Sgt. York--the high school, the home place, the Bible School, etc, the foundation will be assured his story will not fade away.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 4

Reading about Sgt. Alvin York as a youngster made me proud of our American heritage. I met Claudia Johnson Nichols some time before she became involved with the Sgt. York Foundation. She was researching a Civil War burial and was very thorough in her work. This quality of her character will carry over into her work for the foundation.

Sgt. York's later life exemplified his wish to make life better for others. This foundation will carry forward his wishes.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved in the effort to rehabilitate the historic York Institute building since the beginning. As one involved in cultural resources management and historic preservation, I view the preservation of this structure as a continuation of Sergeant York's legacy concerning rural education in Tennessee. The Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation (SYPF) has worked diligently, often against great odds, to save the historic York Institute building from demolition. The SYPF is dedicated to preserving the material and cultural legacy of Sergeant York. The building is only a component of this overall effort, but if rehabilitated according to preservation standards, it can stand as a permanent reminder of Sergeant York's core beliefs concerning the education of Tennessee's children, and an example of what can be accomplished by an organization dedicated to its ideals and guiding principles.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sgt. York has was America's most decorated war hero of World War 1. What he did during battle was an amazing feat that was nothing short of miraculous. However to me his most impressive contribution came when he returned to his home in the 3 Forks of the Wolf in Pall Mall, Tn. He saw that the children in these mountains needed to have a better education and it was his goal to see that this was accomplished. The spirit of Sgt. York and what he stood for still thrives in Tennessee and America....we must continue to keep his legacy alive!

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have known Claudia for many years and know that as director of the Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation, she will strive to promote the legacy of Sgt York and his contributions to education, to inform and educate the general public, adults and children.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Sergeant York Institute is an essential component of in-depth study of the American legacy of heroes born of war. Due in large part to his patriotism and sense of community, Sergeant York provides a real life example of overcoming adversity and championing for what he believe to be right. The Institute keeps his legacy alive and reminds us that we can be better citizens. My sincere fear is that, in a day of the "American idol", our youth is losing sight of what has made this country so strong, great and enduring. We only need look at our past to secure our future - The Sergeant York Institute provides us such an opportunity.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Sgt York Patriotic Foundation has been working so very hard to preserve the legacy of Sgt York. We have been able to obtain and stabilize the original York Institute building which Sgt York founded. This was his dream - to bring education to the folks in this rural community. We want to restore the original building and continue his dream. This building is near and dear to me in many ways. I graduated from York Institute and attended school in this building. I have lots of wonderful memories of this building and hope that others will be able to enjoy it in the near future. It has lots of character.

Review from Guidestar

Rita W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We visited Pall Mall last fall and were very impressed with the true Sgt. York story. It is wonderful that the foundation wants to carry on the legacy of this gentleman. Their interest in not only the preserving their history but in also promoting the future for the area are to be commended and supported by all who can.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation strives to preserve the rich history of Sgt. York and the ideals which he promoted. I have seen first-hand the diligence with which the SYPF has sought to preserve the physical remains of Sgt. York's dedication to seeing that the young people of the upper Cumberland be properly educated.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I visited Pall Mall , TN a few years ago because of my admiration for an American hero and a great man, Sgt. Alvin C. York. Since then, I have become a member of the Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation and enjoy its valuable help in remembering this man whom many have never known about. It is sad that our schools teach about many cultural heroes, while neglecting true American heroes. We need the SYPF to continue to carry on the legacy of a man about whom we should all know and admire.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The SYPF is an amazing organization that promotes the legacy of Sgt York not just for what he did in WWI, but also for his many contrubitions to the surrounding area, TN, and to the US. The story of his life portrayed in the 1941 film influences countless millions every year portraying the true strength of character and morals he embodied. I thank the SYPF for their continued hard work and help in promoting Sgt York's legacy.

Review from Guidestar

Dayle J.

Donor

Rating: 5

The aims of this organization uphold the goals and dreams of World War One's most decorated soldier, Sergeant Alvin C. York. He was a country boy who learned from his exposure to people and ideas from places he had never even heard of that the key to success was education and to that end he brought to the mountain people of Tennessee everything they needed to be able to get an education. He built schools, yes, but also the roads to access those schools, churches to guide the morals of the people of the community and yet he remained a honest, sincere man who thought of others before himself.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I so respect what the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation is doing in our area. The legacy of Sgt. York will live on with the preservation of York Institute. What a wonderful organization for Fentress county!

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been a citizen of Fentress County all my life. I taught high school for 19 years and have a BS in Animal Science, a BS in Agriculture Education, a Masters in Educational Leadership and Supervision, an Educational Specialist Degree in Leadership and Supervision, and a Tn Principals License. I am currently the Vice President of the Fentress Co. Historical Society. I helped develop the Scott County Museum. I attended York Institute for 4 years. I am very interested in Sgt York History. I am very proud of his accomplishments during and after WWI. I think the restoration of the original building at York Institute will be an asset to the community and school and especially to the students as a historical building for educational, historical, and community service. It would be a shame to let a historical opportunity like this pass us by. Sarah Patton Copley

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with the board in helping to implement some of their past events. My wife is on the board of directors. This dynamic group of individuals give so much of themselves to do the things they do. They should be commended. They can use your help to move this project and all of their other projects forward. They work diligently to use the funds they have available wisely and efficiently.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In a world full of less than admirable roll models for today's youth (and adults), it is refreshing to see a group of volunteers take on such a huge project for the benefit of those in the community. The groups' service to the community should be admired. The building they are working to restore has served well for several generations. My dad was one of the early students that benefited from the better education provided through his efforts. I recall many fond memories shared by my dad of his years in high school at York Institute. Those that were in attendance during my time in high school also appreciated the opportunities offered. The original building stands in part as a memorial to the efforts of generations past and the determined parents and grandparents that helped make Sgt. York's dream come true. Bringing a better education to an area that had so little available. For that reason maybe I'm a little sentimental. Sometimes, people forget what is important unless they have something they can see and feel to remind them of where others have been. Our lives don't just count for today. Most (for better or worse) make an imprint on this world that lasts far beyond our years. Sometimes we are known for them, sometimes we are anonymous. The good needs to outshine the bad, giving hope to lives today and beyond. Providing a positive example.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation is a cause near and dear to my heart. We are striving to keep the works and dreams of Sgt. Alvin C. York moving forward in this ever changing world we live in. His efforts to better the lives of the people of this remote area and carry forward the values he held dear are something that we should all be proud of: faith, family and love. Education for the people of the area was also very important to Sgt. York. When he went away to war, it became painfully clear to him how a better education would have served him well. He wanted to give others that same opportunity. He made this one of his missions when he returned home. The local institution that proudly bears his name is in great need of restoration. Much has been done to move the project forward, but more is needed. The Foundation is actively striving to meet the challenges faced by this task. You can learn more at www.sgtyork.org.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I met Sergeant York, I was six years old and of course did not realize the accomplishments and stature of this great Tennessean and American. Our wars have produced a multitude of heroes, but Alvin York stands out even among these select. This patriotic foundation's vision is to keep his military heroism and civilian spiritual ideals ever visible.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

I have been visiting the Pall Mall Valley for over 20 years.
Sgt York was a big believer in education for all.
in to days world his ideas and follow through should be an example to all. He was a geat warrior but his fight for children and the people were greater.
The Sgt York Patriotic Foundation will see that his beliefs live on for all generations to come in restoring the Sgt york Institute in Jamestown Tenn. This institute has a person who has flown in space. they have Doctors, Lawyers, and teachers, . who have their higher education started at the institute . they would like to have a history room the fentress county , and surounding areas.
the $ would greatly help the foundation.h

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Awarded the highest military honors of the United States, France, and Italy, Alvin C. York was shy and painfully aware of his very limited education. Believing profit from his heroic yet violent exploits to be immoral, York repeatedly rejected fortunes offered for his commercial product endorsements. Instead, he elected to educate the children of his remote part of Appalachia, offering access to the wider world he had witnessed.

Thus began a decades-long personal, political and financial struggle as York struggled to build, fund and operate his institution for learning in the backwoods of Tennessee. More than once York mortgaged his farm to provide teachers’ salary, buses and band instruments for the young students of York Agricultural Institute.

Hollywood secured York’s American iconic status. Businesses, state parks, and postage stamps bear York’s name. But Alvin York is truly significant beyond nostalgia alone, an example of a man who never lost sight of the importance of education and who shunned fortune to further his community.

America needs its heroes, and in the halls of York Institute we find heroes within every graduating class of students who have, for 85 years, owed no small degree of thanks to the man who impoverished his family to bring them the education that so many Americans could simply take for granted.

The York school building is his legacy—a monument to his unselfish vision—and a far more accurate indication of the man’s loyalty and bravery in the face of adversity than the medals awarded him for his heroic actions under fire.

Donor

Rating: 4

The legacy of Sgt Alvin C. York is so much more than his brief moment of heroic activity in World War I. That legacy was fueled by his own realization when he was thrust out into a very different world that education and cultural opportunities was the key to any individual's success in life. It was this realization, formed within the context of a new-found Christian faith, that changed Alvin York's life and gave him a determination to do something about it. Almighty God used the experiences of a terrible war to provide York a platform from which to launch his one-man effort to improve the poor educational conditions in his native county and provide a quality high school education to students who otherwise would simply quit learning once they completed their meager educational opportunities afforded by the neighborhood elementary schools in the area. He worked tirelessly under difficult circumstances, inadequate funding and even opposition from the reigning educational system to provide more choices and better opportunities for the youth in Fentress County.

York was also acutely aware that poor roads in his remote county was a contributing factor to improving not only the educational opportunities of youth, but to attracting business and industry, thus providing adults with job opportunities and a better quality of life. Sgt York believed that everyone should be able to put food on the table and provide for the needs of his family. He never failed to respond to a need of one of his neighbors - providing groceries, transportation, work or a personal loan if necessary to whoever had need.

It is this legacy that still needs to be told and it is his inspiration and commitment to these ideals that needs to be caught through his story. The Sgt York Patriotic Foundation is dedicated to sharing this story - to educating youth and adults about the greater purposes for which Alvin C. York gave his life. That's why I support and encourage others to support the Sgt York Patriotic Foundation.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

To the citizens of the United States who love our rich heritage and those who fought to get us where we are today, the continued fight to preserve the school built by Sergeant York needs no explanation. The school and what it represents is as much a part of our heritage as is the Washington Monument or the Lincoln Memorial. Its preservation is imperative in preserving our culture and the unselfish acts of those who fought both home and abroad to promote and improve those things we hold dear.

Sergeant York's school is but one small but greatly significant part of America that must stand forever as a testament to those who need to know the past so that they can be encouraged to seek the correct path to the future. This is why I have personally chosen to donate significant time and financial resources to this cause. I encourage others to join me in this effort. If you need further background and facts to understand the significance of Seargeant York's contributions and sacrifices, just put his name in any search line on your computer. You will be impressed, as I am.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The SYF helps promote and perserve the cultural and educational history of the Sgt. York's historical signfigance on a local level, state level and federal level. This perservation is important for all generations involved including future generations. The importance of this foundation is seen in all acheivements,accomplishments and goals both past and present including the educational goal of restoring Sgt. York's legacy Alvin C. York Agricultural Institute.

Review from Guidestar

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This project involves restoration of a school built by Alvin York , WW 1 hero. The foundation has courageously launch an effort to preserve this historic building. They have been sought the support of the community and engaged the help of many people who have a passion for this project. I applaud their perserverance and passion. I consider the restoration of this building to be way to preserve the ideals and hard work of an American hero.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Sergeant York Patriotic Foundation is helping to preserve an important vision of educating the Upper Cumberland. Sergeant York realized that everyone has a right to receive a good education. His fortitude and unwavering devotion to his community changed the fate of generations . His legacy has not been forgotten, but been taken up by this foundation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Sgt York Foundation offers a unique perspective on a part of American history that was monumental in shaping our Nation. Sadly, the social upheavals that occurred as a result of our country's involvement in World War One remain a nearly forgotten episode . Sgt. Alvin York personified the ideal of an American. Honesty, integrity, honor and a moral character that was unassailable even in the most trying ordeals and temptations defined this man. Now, he is hardly remembered . Enter the Sgt York Patriotic Foundation. They are attempting through links with direct descendants,the community and many volunteers to correct this national memory loss. Education of children and adults through public events and regional media about what World War One in general and Sgt. York in particular meant to our nation are the focal points.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a wonderful patriotic foundation. My husband, a former Marine Master Sgt., and I spent a relaxing day wandering between the store, mill, Alvin's home and the beautiful cemetery where the York's are laid to rest. Alvin was a visionary, a man of great integrity and a man who loved God, family and country. We can think of no better values for a foundation to encourage.

Review from Guidestar

Elisabeth H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Sergeant York Foundation is helping to preserve a legacy that others would envy...a legacy of not only being a hero to the United States, but taking that hero status home and using it to help educate children.

Sgt. Alvin C. York's post-war life was spent furthering the education of the children in the Pall Mall area, and his efforts still live today throughout the region. His school still survives, as do his home and many landmarks surrounding his home.

His story is a fine example of America at its best, and the Sgt. York Patriotic Foundation serves a valuable purpose by continuing the legacy that Alvin C. York started.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

My contacts and dealings with the Sergeant York orginization have always been productive and positive. The effort shown by this orginization shows a thorough and dedicated group of people who are both passionate and knowledgeable. I commend their efforts to tell the story of Sergeant York. I hope we can continue to contribute our own efforts and know how to further the goals of this orginization.

Gerard Loewen
Stop and Listen Inc.

Review from Guidestar