Brighten The Holidays: Knoxville’s Charitable Organizations


Brighten The Holidays: Knoxville’s Charitable OrganizationsAs we enter the heart of the holiday season, those of us who are fortunate enough to be able to help others, are gearing up to help make a difference in our Knoxville community.

As Knoxville Moms has done in years past, we’re sharing 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 East 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.

CedarBrook Outreach is a nonprofit dedicated to reaching our community through compassion, truth, ​and hope.

Center for English is one of the largest support organizations for adult English language learners in Knoxville, offering 7 levels of instruction (Beginner-Advanced), online and in-person classes, with childcare and transportation assistance available. Click here to learn how you can get involved.

Child Help is dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse.

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 you 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.

East Tennessee Freedom Schools  helps children fall in love with reading, increases their self-esteem, cultivates positive attitudes toward learning, and reduces summer learning loss.

Family Justice Center is designed to reduce the number of places victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and elder abuse must go to receive needed services. Click here to learn how you can help.

Family Promise of Knoxville and Blount County unite with the interfaith community to help homeless and low income families achieve sustainable independence.

Fantasy of Trees raised more than $1.3 million in 2022, enabling the hospital to purchase life-saving medical equipment for East Tennessee’s youngest patients.

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

Helping Mamas Knoxville distributes baby items to partner agencies that support low-income women, allowing them to focus on valuable educational services. Click here for information on donating.

Hope Initiative at Cokesbury Church offers community support and a food pantry. Click here for volunteering opportunities.

Human Animal Bond in Tennessee (HABIT) is a community group of volunteers working together to explore the circumstances and consequences of the human-animal bond and to promote this valuable bond between people and animals. HABIT is comprised of representatives from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, volunteers from the community, and private veterinary practitioners. 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.

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.

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

Knoxville Family Justice Center is a multiagency, multidisciplinary center for domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, animal abuse, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking resources, services, and support.

Knoxville Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.

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

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.

Maryville Alcoa Animal Rescue Center (MAARD) believes every animal deserves a chance at life. Their dedicated team of volunteers works around the clock caring for every animal that enters our system with not only housing, feeding, cleaning, and vetting; but with training, love, and socialization. Click here to get involved.

Mercy House Global provides for the rescue of pregnant girls in Kenya from trafficking and dangerous situations and provide a home for them.

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

News Sentinel Empty Stocking Fund provides food and toys to disadvantaged East Tennesseans during the holidays.

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.

Pregnancy Resource Center offers sexual health medical services to men and women.

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 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.

Shora Foundation has been serving East Knoxville for more than 15 years. They offer a safe, secure and sensitive environment for your child, while communicating love to each and everyone of them. Your child will grow during learning opportunities and enrichment programs all year-round.

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.

Tennessee Dachshund Rescue saves homeless dachshunds no matter how old, sick, or abused.

TinyTrees supports ETCH’s Pediatric Oncology patients by donating decorated 3′ artificial Christmas trees to patients who are hospitalized during the holidays.

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.

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. Click here to  see their volunteer opportunities.

Volunteer Your Voice Summer Camp is a one-week camp for children ages 8-15 diagnosed with communication disorders. 

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.

Welcome House Knoxville provides safe and loving space for individuals and families in transition to permanent housing.

YWCA Knoxville & the Tennessee Valley has been a leading force in community change. With a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all, YWCA offers transitional housing and supportive services to women who would otherwise be homeless; advocacy, outreach, support groups, counseling and prevention services for victims of domestic violence; youth and family development services; and after-school programming. Learn how you can help make a difference by clicking here.

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 simple with their search engine and needs listing — make sure to check them out too!

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.

Let’s make these the holidays of hope!

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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.


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