Compassion Closet new leader, Jessee, from Farragut

Farragut’s Hannah Jessee is the new director for The Compassion Closet’s West Knoxville location.

Jessee, who has three children, Olive, Gideon and JoJo with her husband, Matt Jessee, began volunteering with the organization in 2020.

That year, “Julie Gillen, a fellow adoptive mom, friend and founder of the Compassion Closet, invited me to join the West team to help offer additional openings,” Jessee said, noting she soon started a weekly volunteer group and has been supporting the organization hands-on ever since.

Now working in an official capacity, “As the director of the West location (11020 Kingston Pike, Suite 270), I simply serve as a coordinator for our families, volunteers and community partners,” she said.

“We have an amazing volunteer leadership team that helps with everything from regular openings, volunteer sorts, cleaning and community events -—we couldn’t run smoothly without a major team effort,” Jessee added.

She called it “an honor to help the families who are in need of the services we provide. We have a very busy ministry — we have 1,300 touchpoints that come through here every year.”

Jessee said The Compassion Closet not only helps foster families, but also “kinship families” — those who step in to ensure family members don’t enter into foster care if it’s avoidable.

According to the organization’s website, “The Compassion Closet exists to provide quick-turn assistance to foster, kinship, adoptive and other families in the Eastern Tennessee area.”

Through five area locations the organization offers clothing, supplies, toys, bedding and other necessities.

For more information on how to help, visit