Chamber chooses Volunteer Ministry Center for Dec. 12 Open House donations

Farragut West Knox Chamber of Commerce has chosen a special charity this year to receive donations at its upcoming Holiday Open House.

Chamber members attending the event Tuesday, Dec. 12, at the Chamber office, 11826 Kingston Pike, are asked to bring items to help stock the Holiday Store for the Volunteer Ministry Center.

The store, operated by the Volunteer Ministry Center and located at 511 N. Broadway in downtown Knoxville, offers individuals the opportunity to earn community service points that can be redeemed at the store to purchase Christmas gifts.

“It is an effort to help low- or no-income individuals earn gifts for holiday giving,” the organization’s web site stated. “By earning points, it allows them to preserve their pride, and does not offer them a hand out.”

Julie Blaylock, FWKCC president/CEO, said she first became aware of the Holiday Store concept when she stopped by the Volunteer Ministry Center office of Chamber member Zan Schriver.

“I was really impressed with what they are doing,” Blaylock said. “By allowing them to earn points, they are working for them, and allows them a sense of dignity.

“I love the concept, and I just fell in love with it.”

Suggested donations include children’s books; dolls; clothing for men, women, teens and children; board games; small electronics, gloves; shoes; small tool sets; throws/afghans; cooking utensils; area rugs; music, DVDs and DVD players; wrist watches; batteries; sleeping bags and perfume/cologne/bath sets.

While the Chamber’s Holiday Open House is for members only, Blaylock said the Chamber would be “happy to take donations from the community to contribute to the effort.” To donate, or for more information, call 865-524-3926.

Blaylock said this is the first year the Chamber has chosen the Holiday Store as its charity.