KARM grand opening

Newest location in Knoxville celebrates with dedication and ribbon cutting

About 60 attendees celebrated the dedication and ribbon cutting for Knox Area Rescue Ministries’ newest KARM Stores location in Knoxville.

Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce and the community’s residents joined KARM representatives in celebrating the dedication of its store and donation center at 10612 Kingston Pike on Thursday, May 5. The festivities continued with giveaways and prizes on Saturday, May 7.

“It’s such a happy day,” Sue Renfro, KARM director of marketing and communications, said at the May 5 dedication.

“Having a grand opening is almost anti-climatic because the response to the store has been so overwhelming from the day we opened the door,” Burt Rosen, KARM president and CEO, said. “Today, we get to celebrate really what God has done in this community, and it would not happen without folks like you.

“Your faithfulness, your generosity, your support is what allows us to do at KARM what we do every single day. It would not happen without you.”

“We have an opportunity to tell the KARM story to a community that may not know all impact that has been taking place and to reveal Christ,” Evan Crass, KARM director of partnership engagement, said. “This is something we are excited to be able to share on a grand scale for this grand opening.”

“Knoxville is blessed with a plethora of ministries and churches, but if there’s any ministry in Knoxville that honors the heart of Jesus, it is KARM.” Dr. Chris Stephens, Faith Promise Church in Knoxville, a partner church with KARM, said.

KARM has 17 full retail stores and donation centers across six counties, which include Knox, Blount, Anderson, Loudon, Hamblen and Jefferson counties, Renfro said. It also has a clearance center and a Christmas store location in November and December.

“This is the largest store,” Renfro said. “The KARM Stores in Knoxville offers quality, gently used clothing, furniture and other household items at affordable prices.”

Rosen said having a store in the Farragut area provides Town residents with an opportunity to make a difference in their community and it provides a location in their community so they don’t have to travel to downtown Knoxville to donate or shop.

“In my experience, communities appreciate the opportunity to make a difference in the community at large,” he said.

Having a new business also speaks to the community’s economic growth.

“Generally speaking, when you have a new business, it speaks well for the community’s growth,” Rosen said. “ This is a way to partner with the community.”

Crass said the stores help KARM by providing funding so it can furnish meals and shelter for its guests.

“After expenses, 100 percent of the revenues go to fund the ministry to help those in need,” Renfro said.

On a slow day, Rosen said KARM serves 750 meals and on a busy day, it serves upward to 1,500 meals.

“We consider it to be a slow night, if we have fewer than 500 people — men, women and children — spending the night with us and because of the position KARM takes in the community, we don’t accept government funds. We can only operate because of the generosity of this community.”