Brighten the Holidays: Knoxville’s Charitable Organizations


Brighten the Holidays: Knoxville’s Charitable OrganizationsThe holiday season is upon us and I can’t think of a better way of living the true holiday spirit than helping those in need. We teach our kids about the importance of being thankful and showing others kindness and generosity, and now is the perfect opportunity to model that behavior. Whether you contribute to an organization financially or by dedicating some of your time, no gesture is too small to make an impact.

Below is a list of local charitable organizations, many of which are near and dear to the Knoxville Moms contributors:

A Secret Safe Place for Newborns in Tennessee supports and assists facilities where mothers can surrender their babies, operates a 24-hour helpline to answer questions, and educates young women across the state about this legal alternative to infant abandonment. To learn how you can support them, click here.

Angelic Ministries provides furniture, clothing, linens, kitchen supplies, and other needed household items at no cost to people in need. Click here to learn how you can help.

Bridge Refugee Services, Inc. is committed to providing protection and assistance in refugees’ inspiring journey. Bridge Refugee Services recognizes their plight, their resilience and their willingness to join our community and make it their own. There are both opportunities to get involved and donate.

CASA of Easy Tennessee is a community-based program that recruits, trains, and supports citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in Knox County. Click here for volunteer opportunities and here to make a donation.

Child Help East Tennessee Auxiliary is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse. Click here for ways you can help.

Clothe My Children works to eliminate social inequities caused by the lack of adequate clothing. Contact them via their Facebook page for information on volunteering and/or donating gently used items.

Compassion Closet provides quick-turn assistance to foster, kinship, adoptive, and other families in the Knoxville area. Donation opportunities are available.

Dear Santa is run through the Helen Ross McNabb Center, providing holiday gifts for children up to 18 years of age. Learn how to can get involved here.

East Tennessee Children’s Hospital (ETCH) provides exceptional, comprehensive family-centered care, wellness and education. Become a volunteer, giving your time in one of the many opportunities ETCH offers: Arts and Crafts, Child Life, Cuddlers, Gift Shop, Information Desk, Movie Cart, and Surgery Visitor Area. If you’re interested in donating to ETCH, click here for ways in which you may do so.

Family Promise of Knoxville unites with the interfaith community to help homeless and low income families achieve sustainable independence. Click here to donate.

Hope Initiative at Cokesbury Church offers ministry and a support system to families facing struggles. Families are also offered meals and students can receive tutoring. Hope Initiative is for anyone facing a struggle in life. Sign up to volunteer here.

Hug Knoxville is a community of parents and children doing kid-friendly service projects together around Knoxville.

Human Animal Bond in Tennessee sponsors animal-assisted therapy programs with the help of a strong core of volunteer pet owners and their loving pets. Click here for volunteer opportunities.

Humane Society of the Tennessee Valley (HSTV) is a no-kill rescue and adoption facility for animals. HSTV offers a low cost spay/neuter/vaccination clinic, dog training, educational services and volunteer programs. For ways to get involved click here.

Knoxville Area Rescue Missions offers rescue services of food and shelter to those in need. You can donate and/or volunteer year-round.

Mission of Hope delivers hope to families living in rural Appalachia through programs such as Back to School, the Annual Christmas Campaign & Blue Barrel Collections, and Scholarship programs. If you’d like to make a donation, you may do so here.

Knoxville Dream Center and Lost Sheep Ministries helps Knoxville’s homeless and low/no income residents. If you are interested in volunteering, click here.

News Sentinel Empty Stocking Fund provides food and toys to disadvantaged East Tennesseans during the holidays. Volunteer to distribute toys and food baskets to families in need. Distributions take place December 17 – December 21, 2019 at Jacob Building, Chilhowee Park, 3301 Magnolia Avenue, Knoxville, TN 37914. You can also make a contribution to the Fund to help stock the food baskets.

Project Gabriel founded by Knoxville Moms’ Lauren Morgan, Project Gabriel gives support, encouragement, and community to women and their families who have experienced perinatal and infant loss, including miscarriage and perinatal and infant death. Click here to donate or for more information about Project Gabriel, you can get in touch with Lauren.

Random Act of Flowers improves the emotional health and well-being of individuals in health care facilities by delivering recycled flowers, encouragement and personal moments of kindness. Click here for volunteer opportunities and here to donate.

Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee is East Tennessee’s largest hunger-relief charity, operating programs in 18 counties. The Food Bank distributes 16+ million pounds of food and grocery products annually through food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, and schools. Donate and/or get involved by participating in the Virtual Food Drive.

Street Hope is on a mission to end the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children in Tennessee and provide safe environments to foster hope and healing through Jesus Christ. Giving opportunities are listed here.

Susannah’s House is a place for ongoing recovery for moms and their babies who have been prenatally exposed to opioid drugs and other substances. For ways to give, click here.

The Forgotten Initiative brings joy and purpose to foster care children and families. Learn how you can make a difference in the foster care community.

The Joy of Music provides free music lessons and instruments to hundreds of financially disadvantaged, at-risk children and teens. All of their teachers are volunteers. Click here for donation opportunities.

The Love Kitchen provides meals, clothing and emergency food packages to homebound, homeless and unemployed people of all races and faiths. Donate food items or money and/or volunteer your time.

The Pillow Project helps homeless families, individuals, and seniors by providing basic household items to those in need in collaboration with churches, local organizations, and the Knox County Community Action Committee.

Toys for Tots collects new, unwrapped toys each year and distributes those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in Knoxville. Donate a new unwrapped toy at one of these drop-off locations.

Transfiguring Adoption develops media, resources, and tools that nurture growth in foster and adoptive families. Click here for ways you can help.

United Way of Greater Knoxville brings together resources to improve the lives of people in Knoxville by helping them achieve their potential for self-sufficiency. Donate and/or check out their volunteer opportunities.

VOLthon is a UT student-run philanthropic organization that works year-round to raise money and awareness for East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Last year, $138,764.19 was raised for the kids. Donate to help support the purchase of life-saving equipment for ETCH’s Hematology and Oncology Clinic.

Volunteer Ministry Center provides services to prevent and end homelessness through case management and permanent housing solutions. Donation and/or volunteer opportunities are both available.

There are many more organizations which could use our help this holiday season and throughout the year. Volunteer East Tennessee makes finding volunteer opportunities in Knoxville a breeze with their search engine and opportunity calendar — make sure to check them out too! If you’re looking for suggestions specific to volunteering with kids, see Leah’s post for ways you can make a difference as a family.

I leave you with wishes for a lovely holiday season and a small reminder: no matter how large or small the gesture, there’s always a way to help our less fortunate neighbors.

Which are some of your favorite charitable organizations? Share with us in the comments, as we’d love to add to this list!

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In March 2011 my life changed in the most dramatic and wonderful way possible: I became a mom to my vivacious, inquisitive, sweet, fun-loving, exuberant little man. A week after my son’s birth, my husband received a job offer we could not refuse from the University of Tennessee. And so, in July 2011, we said goodbye to the life we’d created in the coastal paradise of Santa Barbara, California, and began carving out a new bit of paradise for ourselves in Knoxville. In March 2013, just over two years after the birth of our son, we welcomed our beautiful and equally amazing daughter. Together with my loving and supportive husband, my children have taught me to slow down and enjoy the moments life gives us. It is with them and thanks to them, that I feel truly happy and at peace.


  1. This family I’ve helped all I can,but they still need a water heater(17 to 20 gallons)small.and and electric stove for a 36 foot camper,their house burned down,over the summer we got them this home on family property,but these to things went down and I don’t have the men’s to help them here or with Christmas.plz help this family,even in these hard times they look up and strive forward.their address is 181 county road 42 Calhoun tn 37309,jessica and Jonathan franzen.Jonathan does work,10$ and hour 40 hours a week just does not cut it.jess can’t work,their son is autistic.plz help them.thank u and God Bless.

  2. YOKE Youth Ministries is a mentoring organization whuch has college age mentors pour into middle school students in 30 middle schools in Knox, Blount, Jefferson, Anderson and Grainger counties.


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