Spotlight on Wesley House Community Center

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Spotlight on Wesley House Community CenterOn any given day at the Wesley House Community Center, you will find children laughing, playing, learning, and having fun. The atmosphere is upbeat, easy and inclusive. The kids joke around with their counselors and use the “Bird Bucks” they earn from exemplary behavior to purchase goodies from the pantry. Kara Finger, the Executive Director, may be found passing out hugs and high fives to the kids between business meetings.

Fridays are particularly exciting because that is when the “Grannies” meet for lunch. They laugh, sing, socialize, play BINGO, and shop for essentials in the on-site store stocked with toiletries, clothing, and other everyday household items.

The Wesley House Community Center is a non-profit organization serving the Mechanicsville, Lonsdale, and Beaumont communities in Knoxville. They are dedicated to three core areas of service: providing high-quality, affordable and accessible childcare, social connection for the senior citizen population, and meeting the emerging needs of the 37921 zip code. Three central programs make up the work of the Wesley House: The after school CARES program, the Summer Time Enrichment Program (STEP), and the Wellness in Senior Education (WISE) program.

To learn more about the after school CARES program click here.

To learn more about the Summer Time Enrichment Program (STEP) click here.

To learn more about the Wellness in Senior Education (WISE) program click here.

Wesley House Community Center has been providing quality childcare to the Knoxville community for over 114 years! They were established in 1907 by three United Methodist Women groups, in order to support the ladies working at Brookside Mills. These hard-working mothers were at the cotton mill to support their families, and therefore their children were lacking supervision during the day. The UMW women recognized this need and thus created the Wesley House. Since then, the organization has been providing after school and summer camp services for Knoxville’s most under-resourced and marginalized communities. In the 1950s, Wesley House added their seniors program when they recognized a need among senior citizens who were experiencing social isolation.

I’ve had the great honor of serving on the Board of Directors for Wesley House over the past year and a half and in that short amount of time I’ve learned so much about the great people there, the community they serve, and I’ve grown to love and fully support the mission of this organization. I love when I have the opportunity to visit the facility to see the work in action. The positive energy is contagious, and I want to be a part of helping this organization continue to thrive.

If you are not familiar with Wesley House, please take a moment to check out their website wesleyhouseknox.org and learn a little more about the amazing work they do.

If you are interested in supporting the Wesley House, there are several ways to get involved:

  • Volunteers are always needed to support the WH mission. If you are interested in volunteering as an individual, or have a group that would like to spend a day supporting the Wesley House, please visit the website here.
  • The Masquerade Ball is their premier social event of the year, and will be held on October 22. It is a great event and provides a wonderful way to support the WH while having fun and socializing with your friends. Tickets are on sale now for this event. Tables and individual tickets can be purchased here.
  • WH is preparing to launch a Capital Campaign to support some essential renovations and upgrades to the building and grounds of WH. I have offered my personal time and energy to serving on the building committee, to develop plans for improving the Wesley House facility to bring it up to current standards in order to support their mission to extend their reach to support as many families as possible. You can learn more about that here.
  • Due to increasing demands and a rising need in the community, WH now operates a food pantry full time, and even delivers food to those in need in the community! Donations of food and other household items are welcomed and greatly appreciated. You can learn more about the food pantry and make donations here.

Knoxville is so lucky to have the resources and services of Wesley House. They are doing important and exciting work in our community, building upon their rich and varied history, and paving the way for the future of their students. #Welcometoourhouse.

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