Marc deClaire

Identifying Human Needs


Cookeville’s Most Influential People – Class of 2022

A woman fleeing domestic violence with her children. A family of six whose car broke down in the middle of winter. A person at risk of losing employment without proper medication.


Marc deClaire identified a common thread between all of these circumstances: humans with an immediate need for assistance. As a result, the veteran police officer established the Cookeville Human Fund in 2019.


Cookeville Human Fund has assisted more than 300 individuals or families in Putnam County. Recipients are people in a critical bind that would require a small amount of money for food/baby food, shoes, diapers, gas, transportation, minor car repairs, etc.


“Many Americans are one paycheck away from being homeless,” said Marc. “If we can intervene and prevent that from happening, we’re going to do it.”


With a career spanning more than 20 years in law enforcement, Marc designed Cookeville Human Fund to provide a short-term solution through the lens of officers on the front lines. The organization facilitates an efficient, streamlined approach and ease of logistics to assist people Marc encounters while on duty or when a colleague reaches out to him.


“I saw an opportunity to address the communities needs”



A designated officer is able to facilitate the program on each shift, enabling Marc’s organization to help citizens of the greater Cookeville area any time the need arises.


“If we intervene, who knows what it’s going to stop: it could stop a shoplifting, a burglary, we’ll never know.”


Marc’s hope is to see officers or first responders in other counties establish their own human funds. When asked how locals describe him, Marc shared one of the best compliments he has received: “I don’t just wear the badge. I live it.”


For more information or to make a donation, please visit


– by Alanna Massey
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