March 18, 2020

Generous Hearts

Generous hearts are a trademark of the people of this great state! As fears and uncertainty grow, faith-based and nonprofit organizations who are intimately familiar with the people and needs in their communities, are setting up plans and systems to care for those most at risk.

The famous system of “phone trees” to stay in touch are gaining new respect as a way to maintain contact with the elderly across the state. Churches and other houses of worship are adopting residents in low income housing who are most at-risk, agreeing to check in with them daily. Coordinating with food banks and transportation resources, nutritional needs are met, and critical visits for regular medical treatments (eg: dialysis, infusions) can be arranged. But most important, a social need is met, new friendships blossom, and people are connected.

Counties throughout the state are delivering food to the elderly and people who are immune-compromised. School buses are dropping off meals and food bags at their regular stops. Anderson County is initiating drive-through community meals. In Hamilton County more than 1,500 “activity bags” including puzzles, word games, crafts, books and activities are being delivered to housing for senior adults. Extras will go to neighborhoods. There has been a call put out for “many hands, many vans” to help organize and distribute resources.

Faith-based communities, nonprofits, and local governments are establishing task forces to address the needs of every sector of our communities. Many people are already living on the edge, and this crisis will require all of us to sacrifice to help others. Simple ideas include:

• Adopt a hairdresser, service worker, retail sales person who has lost a job. Help where needed, and be their friend and person to contact in need.

• Support those who are working overtime to keep hospitals, utilities, grocery stores, delivery and logistics systems in place by helping them with meals and child care.

• Donate money and time to help community food banks meet the nutritional needs of the community.

• Remember those on the margins – the homeless, the immigrants, the elderly – and reach out to lend a hand.

It is an honor to live in a state that values the power of volunteerism.

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.” Proverbs 3:27

Other Recent Stories

The Tennessee Prayer Initiative

Prayer changes everything. Our mission is to assure that every state leader is prayed for every day.

Keep Reading

Offering Hope Through Connection

Jim Lewis is a volunteer firefighter and chaplain, and Director of Christian Formation at a Chattanooga church. He is keenly aware of the hardships and strife people are facing on a daily basis. “We are seeing more and more depression and anxiety in our communities, and a lot of that is fueled by loneliness and disconnection.” He views the church as a place to offer connection, hope, healing.

Keep Reading

Overcoming: Moving Forward to a New Future

Mary Kramer described herself a year ago as “alone, isolated, no self-esteem, not working, not doing anything. I didn’t feel like I was worthy to talk to anyone.” But a flyer about the Christian Women’s Job Corp (CWJC) caught her eye. Mary called the number on the flyer and was connected to Jane Everett, a dynamic retired schoolteacher who has a passion to see women empowered to move forward into a new future.

Keep Reading