CISV has touched the lives of many over the years. This page will serve to collect those stories of people sharing the importance of the organization to them. Please let us know if you have any stories you’d like to feature here!
Smoky Mountain Chapter’s Founding
“Ray Shrader, a psychologist, was at a meeting/conference on the Gulf Coast and a psychologist from the area, Fred Wright, told him he wanted to show him something. So they went out to a Village happening nearby. Ray was so impressed he came home determined Knoxville should have a chapter. He organized, recruited Andy Shockley and other key people and the next year we hosted a Village at Cedar Bluff Middle School with Andy as the director! It helped that Ray was a psychologist, as was Doris, and they respected and admired each other.”
-Carol Thiesing“Our introduction to CISV was in the early seventies when my nieces did Interchanges with Mexico and Denmark. I went to a meeting to learn more about the organization only to hear my daughter was not old enough to participate. We went back for two years until she was the correct age to try out for a village. Seventy-five kids tried out that year for eight slots and her selection to a village in Romania changed our lives forever. She went on to become a JC, JB president,leader at two villages, village staff, National Trainer, attendee at international meetings, etc. In 1977 our family attended a national meeting and were totally committed after meeting Doris Allen. Our younger daughter was also a delegate to a village in Guadeloupe and interchanged with Mexico. I started volunteering with the Knoxville Chapter serving on the local board when Ray Shrader our beloved founder was serving as President. You didn’t say no to Ray who inspired me beyond words. Locally I was Village Planner, Staff, Director, trustee, leader to Germany, Japan and Mexico. I was the USA national secretary, a national leader trainer, four years the national village Chairperson, and six years the International Village Committee Chairperson retiring in Israel in 2004. This last position with 60-65 villages each year was overwhelming but rewarded me with friends all over the world and shaped our family in ways we never would have imagined in 1975 when we joined this incredible organization.”
Carol – left, Lucy – right