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Maury County Teacher Built Solidarity With Facebook Group

A sixth-grade teacher at Whitthorne Middle School in Tennessee created a Facebook group, “Got Quarantined?,” as a local resource for food, supplies, volunteers and emotional support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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(TNS) — Tammy Bray Quinn, a sixth-grade science teacher at Whitthorne Middle School, has been formally recognized by the Maury County Commission for bringing emotional support to the community during one of its greatest moments of need.

Quinn created a Facebook group which served as a digital gathering place for people living in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group’s name: Got Quarantined?

“In those early days of COVID we were trying to figure everything out,” Maury County Mayor Andy Ogles said at the event. “There were a lot of people who slipped through the cracks.

“Quinn helped fill that gap. We applaud you for taking that initiative.”

What began as a means for members of the community to find toilet paper early in the pandemic quickly transformed into a care network during the spring and summer months of 2020.

“It started as memes and turned into a lot of positive messages,” Quinn said.

“If someone lost a job we got them food,” Quinn said. “Whatever we could do to help, we were doing it. We were just really digging into the community, into the spots that were hurting, trying to serve and help.”

Quinn said the group became a resource for community members to seek out assistance and emotional support. As some volunteered to bring food to those who lost their jobs, others were connected to local church groups and exercise programs to remain active at home.

Quinn served as the group’s chief administrator, alongside a group of friends who closely monitored the group.

She was celebrated by the Maury County Commission for establishing the group during its full meeting held earlier this month, receiving a proclamation from Ogles.

She was also praised by commission members.

“She is one of our repeated and loved school teachers here in Maury County,” Commissioner Debbie Turner said.

Got Quarantined? attracted more than 6,000 people from greater Maury County, especially those involved in the county’s public school district.

At its height, about 6 percent of the community participated in the group.

“I love this community, and I am happy to help,” Quinn said. “It is about being at the heartbeat of serving people.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of moment. It was just a beautiful balance of personalities that wanted to serve and help others.”

Following several successful months of operation, and as daily life slowly began to return, some group members began political arguments, diverting from the group’s intention of uniting the community.

“It was turning into a mess of politics,” said Quinn, an educator with 10 years in the classroom — including the last four years at Maury County Public Schools.

“When it started to get negative, we decided to shut it down to keep the memory of it shining, and it could be remembered in a positive light before it began taking away from our family and the things that brought us joy.”

©2021 The Daily Herald (Columbia, Tenn.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.