June Volunteer of the Month – Holly

Our June 2017 Volunteer of the Month award goes to Holly! Holly has been volunteering with The Salvation Army since May 2015.

Without Holly, many tasks in the soup kitchen and Emergency Assistance food pantry wouldn’t get done. She is a key player when it comes to serving the community on Sunday mornings and helping to get our food pantry clients served throughout the week.

Holly has a regular schedule but you can often find her volunteering with us on her “off days” packing sack lunches for residents, helping to unload our food delivery trucks or even filling the salt and pepper shakers! It’s because she loves volunteering here, “The people are friendly and easy to work with,” said Holly.

Volunteer Manager, Hannah Hankins, added, “Holly is one of our most important volunteers. I can always count on her to be here when scheduled and I love seeing her through the week too. She’s also great at answering questions for other volunteers that may be learning the ropes.”

The Salvation Army Knoxville Area Command is excited to award Holly with the June 2017 Volunteer of the Month Award.


May Volunteers of the Month – The Three Amigos

We are excited to award the May 2017 Volunteer of the Month to The Three Amigos, also known as Jim, Steve and Melissa. They come every Thursday to serve dinner in our soup kitchen without missing a beat – unless it’s for their coveted golf trip twice a year.

The trio got started about 19 years ago when Steve saw an ad in his church bulletin for soup kitchen volunteers at The Salvation Army. He brought along two friends, one being Jim. Through the years the third amigo has varied. Melissa currently fills this spot and keeps everyone in line. One thing remains the same, their faithfulness to serving and helping the Knoxville Area Command to do the most good in the community.

When asked about a favorite memory while serving, Steve is quick to say, “The kitchen rarely runs out of food, no matter how many people come through the line. The Lord always provides.” In response, Hannah, the volunteer manager, says the same about The Three Amigos, “The Lord has provided these hands to serve in the soup kitchen and we are so thankful for them. Their regular service paired with a positive and willing attitude is what I seek in volunteers.”

The Knoxville Area Command looks forward to having The Three Amigos serve in the soup kitchen for at least 19 more years.


(From left to right) Hannah Hankins, Special Events and Volunteer Manager; Jim M; Major Mary Bratcher, Associate Area Commander; Steve M (not pictured: Melissa R.)

March 2017 Volunteer of the Month – Ingeborg

Ingeborg has been a valuable volunteer since 2015. Her volunteering includes helping out with Angel Tree in various capacities, one of our biggest needs each Christmas that provides gifts for needy children and seniors as well as working as a fill-in receptionist at our Area Command.

Ingeborg’s sincere get-it-done attitude and willingness to help out with anything needed is valuable to our volunteer program.

Ingeborg volunteers with The Salvation Army because she feels like her time is worth while. She especially enjoys seeing the parents as they receive Christmas gifts for their family.

“Ingeborg plays an important role each season for our Angel Tree program. Everyone loves working with her because she knows the drill and is efficient – be it getting families registered for the program or directing families and other volunteers on distribution day. When the need for a reception volunteer came up I knew Ingeborg would be the perfect fit. She offers a warm smile to visitors and catches on quickly to procedures,” says Volunteer Manager, Hannah Hankins.

It is our honor to award Ingeborg the March 2017 Volunteer of the Month award for her hard work and dedication to The Salvation Army Knoxville Command.

Ingeborg (left) with Major Mary Bratcher and Volunteer Manager, Hannah Hankins

February 2017 Volunteer of the Month – Maxine

February 6, 2017 Leave a comment

Maxine has been volunteering at The Salvation Army on a regular basis for six years. She began helping out at the Knoxville Area Command after a conversation with a bell ringer at the grocery store about other volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

Maxine spends most of her time in the soup kitchen, helping mostly in the Emergency Assistance program’s food pantry three days a week. As part of the food pantry, Maxine’s job is to sort and store incoming food for distribution, pack bags of food for families and manage Emergency Assistance clients as they come in.

Emergency Assistance Social Worker, Selena Nolasco says, “Maxine plays an integral role in the day-to-day operations of the food pantry. Not only does she organize and distribute the orders but she brightens everyone’s day with her laugh and smile.”

In addition to helping in the food pantry, Maxine also helps kitchen staff prepare meals-to-go for The Salvation Army residents to take to work and serves residents lunch and dinner in the soup kitchen. The Salvation Army Kitchen Manager, Kevin Long often refers to Maxine as a “MVV – Most Valuable Volunteer”.

Maxine says she volunteers with The Salvation Army to support the mission of doing the most good in her community and also to be a listening ear when an individual or family is in critical need. She also finds that her rough days are uplifted by those being served.

It is our honor to award Maxine the February 2017 Volunteer of the Month award for her hard work and dedication to The Salvation Army Knoxville Command.

Angel Tree Adoption Info

November 4, 2016 Leave a comment
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2016 Angel Tree Registration FAQ

August 30, 2016 Leave a comment

Cost of Homelessness

December 23, 2015 Leave a comment

I’ve been looking at the research on the cost of homelessness lately, and the numbers are pretty frightening. Once you’ve factored in things like police services and jail time, emergency shelter, ambulance, hospital and emergency room services, and then case management, mental health services and other long term supportive care, we spend a staggering amount on each homeless person every year. One 2014 study by the Colorado Homeless Coalition found that each homeless person costs around $43,000 per year. One HUD official confirmed in 2012 that $40,000 was the average amount that the government spends on each person across the country.

Trying to identify the number of homeless in Knox County is difficult, but a point-in-time 2014 Labor Bureau of Statistics report indicated that there were 861 homeless individuals in our county. Using that $40,000 average cost to our community, we spend approximately 34 million dollars each year as taxpayers supporting our homeless population.

As the Director of Development for The Salvation Army in Knoxville, I think in terms of return on investment. If you give us X dollars, I can provide a return of Y dollars. Of course, with our very low administrative costs, 82 cents of every dollar you give to The Salvation Army goes directly into programs in Knoxville.

Now, let me say this, monetary return on investment is important, and the ROI for our community on one person who completes The Salvation Army’s Transitional Housing Program and finds housing, freedom from addiction and gainful employment is huge in terms of the money saved by the taxpayer. However, let me take this a step further and share something that really bothers me. I read the Bible, and I’m convicted and heartbroken over and over by one particular story. This is the story of the lost sheep that Jesus tells in Luke 15:3-7.

“Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”

This story breaks my heart. Yes, return on investment is important. Yes, numbers matter…BUT, what is the value of a lost sheep???

The stories of transformed lives at The Salvation Army remind me that you cannot quantify the value of a lost sheep who has found his or her way home. You see, the lost sheep have names…Kevin, April, Jenny, Bob, and the list goes on and on. Each of them has a story that I would be glad to share with you. Each of them found their way to The Salvation Army, and their lives have been transformed. They have been restored and made new. They are free from addiction. They are working. They have homes, and they are giving back. This is why I do what I do. You see, no dollar amount is too great to lead a lost sheep home.

As we near the end of this year, would you join me in helping to lead lost sheep home?

You can be a part of transforming lives by giving today at the link below.


Thank you.
~ David Harrell, Director of Development, The Salvation Army of Knoxville

Please call me at (865) 604-4399 if you would like to discuss a special year end gift.

You can find out more about the programs and services of The Salvation Army in Knoxville at http://www.salvationarmyknoxville.org.

You can find out more about homelessness in Knox County at: