Another celebration of the birth and life of Dr. King has come and gone. Speeches were made, people marched. It’s good that we remember his legacy this way, but there is a more important way to remember: by dedicating ourselves to service for those who are hurting. It’s been an emphasis of the holiday from the beginning and it’s needed as much now as ever.
Getting started is sometimes the hardest part. Where do you devote your efforts? Which cause of all the great causes is the one to which you’ll give your time and/or money? There is certainly no shortage of various kinds of needs and the list isn’t likely to shrink any time soon.
Scarecrow, an organization I’ve mentioned many times on this blog, is attempting to give you a place to start your exploration. Scarecrow is an organization dedicated to ending hunger and it does so by giving support to the many great organizations already doing that work. “America does not need more pantries, hunger organizations need more people and money to serve those less fortunate.”
With their latest effort, Fight Hunger Week, the group has organized open houses at area non-profits who serve food to the homeless. While many of their efforts address the wider issue of hunger in the community, they felt a focus on the homeless at a time of year where survival in the elements is a major issue, might help focus the efforts of the week-long effort.
True to its motto, “Entertainment with Purpose,” the week will also include opportunities to have fun while helping the cause. It starts with boxing at the Emerald Youth Gym at 4:00 PM this Saturday with Eppolito Boxing. Knoxville’s poker community is also involved, as always, to help the organization with the All in For the Homeless Poker Tournament. These groups contribute directly and indirectly to the effort.
Joining Scarecrow in this effort is the Alliance for Better Nonprofits and several people you may know: The Chairperson for the event is Shonjrell Ladner, Mrs. East Tennessee 2018, former UT running back, John Kelly is committed to the effort, as is Ovince Saint Preux, UFC mixed matrial artist and former UT football player.
The heart of this campaign, however, is a schedule of Open Houses at a number of the local organizations helping feed the homeless. The idea is to familiarize people with organizations engaged in this most basic human effort, with the opportunity presented to become involved with volunteer and/or monetary support. The list of Open Houses may increase over the next week, but here are some of the options available at this time:
Sunday, January 28th:
True Purpose Knox 1 PM – 5 PM
Wednesday, January 31st:
Ladies of Charity 9:30 AM – 4 PM
The Love Kitchen 10 AM – 6:30 PM
Lost Sheep 6 PM – 7:30 PM
Thursday, February 1st:
The Salvation Army 7 AM – 9 AM
Manna House 4 PM – 5 PM
Friday, February 2nd:
VMC 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Saturday, February 3rd:
Angelic Ministries 9 AM – 2 PM
Sunday, February 4th:
Care Cuts 9 AM – 4 PM
Be sure to visit the website as the week approaches to check for updates. Also, tune in to KnoxCentric this Sunday on WUTK at 10:00 AM when I’ll be joined by representatives of some of the organizations involved. Listen, learn, but mostly, get involved.