Hello Ktowners! My name is Janis, the 9 AM class, and I recently returned to Ktown after taking some time off while my little ones worked through the never-sit-still toddler phases and into little kid-dom; mommy can now safely workout at the gym again, even with kiddos in tow.
Introduction aside, I know that many of you are involved with causes and organizations that are important to you and it is one of my favorite parts of being involved with such an amazing community of CrossFitters. While searching for a community service project for my children, I was introduced to the amazing folks at Hope Central of Knoxville. In a house based in one of the poorest parts of Knoxville, amazing things are happening and my family has been blessed to be involved through various projects.
Hope Central focuses on families living within a 50 block area of Knoxville around Cherry Street, Magnolia, and I40. Their focus is ministry, after school care and tutoring for children, and helping adults get out of poverty. The volunteers work to improve situations–not just hand out money. It is very easy to become so caught up in our own lives; we easily take for granted the basic needs that we put little thought into providing for ourselves and family. It is not unusual for children to come into Hope Central hungry and in need of clothes, shoes, or basic hygiene. As mom that lives just a few miles from these kids, it is heartwrenching. This is where volunteers come into play!
Every year local churches and organizations provide Hope Central with toys for their annual community Christmas gathering in mid-December. At the gathering, parents pay $5 per child (with funds going back into Hope Central) to choose 3 toys of varying value. The gifts are wrapped and sent home in bags for the parents to give to their children on Christmas morning. The need is greater than ever, so I thought maybe Ktowners could pitch in and help supplement the toy drive with one of our own.
I will be setting up a donation box at the gym in the next few days. If you would like to help, please bring a new, unwrapped toy for any age group valued at $30 or less. If you do not feel comfortable with a toy, donations of individually wrapped snacks and juice boxes are always needed for the after school program. The gathering is Sunday, December 14, so I will leave the box out until December 12.
Thanks for your help Ktown!