By Ben Lawson
Last Saturday, a community’s efforts to help the homeless paid off when more than 200 bags stuffed with donated clothing items were handed out to needy people in the Knoxville area.
The project saw businesses and individuals come together for a common goal.
The idea grew out of a weekly service by Tim Macklin, who has been preaching to and feeding the homeless and recovering drug addicts since he got clean a few years ago.
His mother, Vickie Johnson, runs God’s Place Thrift Store to help raise money for Macklin’s work.
“God is using this ministry to lead people to the Lord,” she said.
The staff of Ye Olde Steak House worked to pack bags full of gloves, throws, toboggans and more, some of which was donated and some even hand made. As word spread of what they were planning, people began pitching in.
“We had customers who ate and then volunteered to stay and help,” said Donna Smith with Ye Olde Steak House. “Our customers have been wonderful.”
Those who contributed to help make this Christmas merrier included Stock Creek Church and Knox-Chapman Utility District. Eddie Luttrell donated 92 pairs of gloves and area dentists chipped in with toothbrushes.
“It really was a community effort,” Smith said.
More than 200 adults and 40 children ultimately benefited from their efforts. For Johnson, seeing so many band together to help the disenfranchised is a blessing that she has worked toward for a long time.
“It was wonderful,” she said. “There wasn’t a dry eye. The people were so excited.”
Another event will be held Dec. 22 at the mission in Knoxville sponsored by Praise 96.3. It starts at 5 p.m.
Community Delivers Christmas
By Ben Lawson