Holiday push under way for Mission of Hope goals

Just as every other philanthropic organization currently is experiencing due to COVID-19 concerns, Mission of Hope is serving the needy from an entirely new landscape.

Volunteers are fewer, organizers won’t be able to deliver in-person this Christmas to the 30 schools Mission of Hope serves and the vibrant blue Christmas Drive barrels, typically located throughout the area this time of year, have gone viral.

“We’ve had to do things differently since March,” said Emmette Thompson, MOH executive director of the 24-year-old organization that also provides food, clothing and school supplies year-round to students and their families throughout rural Appalachia.

“We had to close our doors earlier this year and opened back up with a smaller staff and fewer volunteers,” he added. “We had to cancel the golf tournament; we had to do the Back to School (event) differently.

However, “We have been very blessed and have been able to keep helping everywhere we had already been helping,” Thompson said.

He said promotions direct donors to the group’s website,, which provides information about the organization, along with its current Christmas collection, which runs through Saturday, Dec. 5.

Links are provided to donate through already established registries on Walmart, Target and Amazon websites. Donors will chose the items, which are then delivered directly to the Mission of Hope’s Knoxville warehouse.

Non-specific monetary donations may also be made online.

Those wishing to contribute more personally, can purchase any of the following items, and drop off at the MOH warehouse during business hours: food – new and unopened non-perishable food items, but no glass containers; clothing – new, with tags, coats, jeans, shirts, underwear in adult and children’s sizes; toys/gifts – new, unopened and unwrapped toys/gifts for students in grades from Pre-K to eighth grade with a suggested $15 value for each item; and hygiene – hull-size shampoo with conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, and soap bars.

For more information, call 865-584-7571 or e-mail