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TUESDAY, December 13, 2016 Issue No. 16

OUT OF THE FIRE . . . After nearly 17,000 acres were burned in and around Gatlinburg, people and organizations in the community have been scrambling to provide supplies to those displaced by the fire. Food, water, clothing and other necessary supplies have been arriving by truckloads, while multiple fundraising campaigns are being set up. The local corporation, Scripps Network, donated $100,000 to four local non-profits for wildfire relief - Friends of the Smokies, Second Harvest Food Bank, Red Cross of East Tennessee, and the Sevier County Humane Society. People in the community (and outside the community) have contributed money, goods, and time. To learn more about ways you can help, visit this link to an article published by Knoxville Weekend

PROVISION FOUNDATION . . . ProVision Foundation, a local faith based organization located in Knoxville, is providing proactive leadership, relational support, and financial resources. Their aim is to encourage and enable individuals, ministries and churches to develop and implement innovative, Christian-based, Kingdom-building initiatives and movements in developing countries. Wesley Hill, co-founder of local coffee shop Honeybee Coffee, is also professionally involved with ProVision Foundation. While the two are only related through Hill’s involvement, his work with ProVision has provided him with information to help him grow his coffee business and has generated values at the core of Honeybee coffee such as recognizing the farmers who grew the beans. Find out more about ProVision Foundation by visiting their website at this link.

THE BIRDHOUSE . . . The Birdhouse, formerly known as “The Neighborhood Center”, has been a part of the Knoxville community since the 1970’s. Historically, it has provided a space for groups to gather and organize against controversial issues in the community. Within the past decade, the focus has shifted slightly to include instruction in art, music and skills through workshops and the name “The Birdhouse” was adopted. The core has stayed the same however, and it remains a safe space for anyone in the community to go to and express their ideas. Regular events at The Birdhouse include movie nights, potlucks, and pop-up art galleries. To learn more about The Birdhouse and get involved visit this link.
MS. WHEELCHAIR TENNESSEE . . . Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee is a pageant-style competition for girls living and thriving with disabilities. Despite being in a pageant format, it is not decided by beauty, but rather one’s ability to act as a spokesperson for others living with disabilities. Final selection is based on evaluation during a series of team building exercises, workshops and interviews. This year Carly Pearson, a mother who injured her spinal cord fighting fires in Oregon, was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee. The Junior Miss winner was Rachel Godsey and the Little Miss winner was Liberty Barnum. To learn more about Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee and the 2016 year winners, visit their website at this link.
TOYS FOR TOTS . . . Distribution of toys for the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots campaign in Knoxville is set for December 14-17. The mission of the program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute them as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community. Local Toys for Tots Campaign Coordinators conduct an array of activities throughout the year, which include golf tournaments, foot races, bicycle races and other voluntary events designed to increase interest in the program, and also generate toys and monetary donations. Find out more about the Toys for Tots program by visiting this link.

ANGEL WINGS MEMORY GOWNS . . . A local nonprofit is repurposing wedding and formal dresses into complimentary burial gowns for babies and toddlers and providing grief support to the families. Angel Wings Memory Gowns was started by a woman in Gatlinburg in July and has already provided gowns to six area hospitals. They recently held a gala dinner fundraiser called “Wedding of the Decades” to support their mission. They currently have a network of over 40 volunteers, and accept donations of money, dresses, or time. To sign up or find a drop-off location for items, visit this link.

NATURAL WELLNESS . . . Formed in 2009, Childrens Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) of Greater Knoxville Area is a non-profit educational organization that is dedicated to increasing awareness and knowledge about complementary, integrative, holistic and natural wellness care practices in our community. A supportive network is provided for practitioners and individuals interested in holistic modalities and approaches to wellness. Events scheduled throughout the year include healthy living expos and presentations on topics including “The Truth about Cancer” and “What’s the Point of Acupuncture?” Learn more about CHEO of Greater Knoxville Area by visiting this link.

THE WORDPLAYERS. . . The mission of The WordPlayers is to produce excellent theatre and tell culturally relevant stories from a faith-based perspective. With touring shows throughout East Tennessee, main stage shows in Knoxville theatre venues, and other programming, The WordPlayers delight in influencing and entertaining with Christ-centered art. Recently, The WordPlayers completed a run of "Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!" at the Clayton Performing Arts Center at Pellissippi State Community College. To find out more about The WordPlayers and see what performances are coming up next, visit their website at this link.

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