WOW’s leadership development focuses on service opportunities in the Knoxville area.
We collaborate and serve with local, charitable organizations that are focused on building a strong, loving community. Here are descriptions, written by WOW participants, of our mission partners.
St. John’s Lutheran Church gives back to our community by working with many outreach ministries such as Tyson House Campus Ministry, Knox Area Rescue Mission, Family Promise of Knoxville, and many others. In addition to their outreach programs, they are the headquarters for W.O.W Urban Ministry and generously give us their building year after year. One of the personal blessings I have experienced at St. John’s is singing some of my favorite hymns in worship every morning with guests.
Beardsley Community Farm gives back to our community by teaching and promoting sustainable urban agriculture. Beardsley farm donates their produce to various Knoxville kitchens and pantries including our fellow mission partners KARM, Mobile Meals, and Global Seeds. One of the personal blessings I have experienced at Beardsley Farm is one-day when I was struggling to pull a stubborn weed from the ground, I realized that while it may be a taxing chore to me, my actions meant that someone else got to eat a vegetable at dinner. After that, pulling weeds didn’t seem like such a chore anymore.
Water Wagon gives back to our community by distributing ice-cold water to our neighbors on hot summer days. One of the personal blessings I have experienced when doing Water Wagon is the smile on everyone’s faces when they see our bright red wagon. The sight of it makes every one joyful, not just our neighbors, but also our guests and seasoned staffers.
Wesley House gives back to the community by providing summer, and afterschool care for the children of low income families. Their community is at the heart of their programs. Wesley House was started in 1907 to provide care to the children of working parents. These families and their needs have provided the programming roadmap to Wesley House for decades. Today they focus on two populations of greatest need: children and senior citizens.
Caring for children has always been a part of Wesley House. Our commitment is to provide quality educational, emotional, and spiritual support for Knoxville’s inner-city children. The people who made this community cannot be forgotten. Programs for senior citizens have been a part of Wesley House since the early 1950s.
One of the personal blessings I have experienced at Wesley House was when I was playing with children during their summer program, and one little girl came running up to me, I had never met her, and she just exclaimed, “Oh! I am so glad to see you!” it was the simplest thing, but I truly felt needed and I could tell I was making a difference.
Global Seeds gives back to our community by providing programs that seek to empower local populations. This empowerment may take on the role of building schools and training teachers or helping individuals to find their own voice and giving them a platform from which to speak! Their goal continues to be to walk alongside others and help to facilitate strategies which will empower them to meet their felt needs.
One of the personal blessings I have experienced at Global Seeds was when I was helping organize fabric for their sewing ministry, and one of the women that participates in the ministry came up stairs and gasped. I was so worried I was doing something wrong, I turned to her and I noticed a tear in her eye. She hugged me and said, “This room has never looked so good!” it was a truly beautiful and powerful moment I will never forget.
Volunteer Ministry Center or, VMC gives back to our community by working to facilitate permanent supportive housing for those who are homeless and to provide services to prevent homelessness. These services include a dental clinic, food pantry, Minvilla housing, and much more.
One personal blessing I have experienced at VMC was when I was organizing their clothing closet, and a woman came in. She was trying to find an outfit to wear to a job interview. My group and I helped her pick out what to wear, including a short fashion show, and a pretend photoshoot. The woman was so happy, she hugged all of us when she had to go, and left with a smile on her face and confidence in her heart. I loved the hands on aspect of that service, and how I could immediately see how she was affected and how we might have changed the outcome of her entire day.
KARM thrift store gives back to our community by selling used clothes for a cheap price so that people can find clothes they want/ like and can buy them for a price that the lower income families can afford. They give most of their money to KARM and every $2 you spend is worth one meal at KARM. So when you buy something that goes up to or above $2 you know that you are helping to buy food for a someone who is homeless.
One of the person blessings I have experienced at KARM thrift store is seeing all of the different types and random assortments of clothes that are there and having a good time with all of the people I go on the mission site with.
Guy B. Love gives back to our community by providing a place for senior citizens to live and get medical treatment. The staff there are always warm and happy to try and cheer up all of the citizens that love there.
One of the person blessings I have experienced at Guy B. Love is the countless dance parties they have. It always so awesome to see all of the senior citizens dance and it is even more fun to dance with them!
Serene Manor gives back to the community by providing a place where people can live, usually with a mental disability if they have nowhere else to go. It is an enclosed facility to make sure everyone is cared for.
A personal blessing I’ve experienced at serene manor is when I sat with an lady and we talked for over an hour. As I was leaving I could just tell how happy she was that she had someone to talk to.
KARM is a Knox county mission program that gives back to the community by providing food and overnight shelter to anyone who may not have other incomes. K: Knox A: area R: rescue M: Ministries.
One of the personal blessing I’ve experienced at KARM is seeing people’s faces when you give them food. They are so appreciative cause this may be there only income for food.
Christenberry gives back to our community by providing kids with an excellent grade school education despite the fact it is a low funded facility. Their mission is to give kids, grades pre-kindergarten to fifth grade, a great learning environment.
One of the personal blessings I have experienced at Christenberry is that the faculty is very grateful for the work we do for them. You can see how much they appreciate what we do.
Random Acts of Flowers gives back to our community by spreading joy and positivity to patients in health care facilities. Random Acts of Flowers is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to “inspire and nurture a culture of care and compassion.” They do this by delivering recycled flowers to people struggling with sickness, aging, and injuries. The flowers are all donated from events such as weddings, funerals, and parties. Local florists and grocery stores also donate flowers to be reused by Random Acts of Flowers. Because it is a nonprofit, help from volunteers is crucial to their ministry. At Random Acts of Flowers, volunteers do things like washing vases, organizing flower donations, and creating flower arrangements.
One of the personal blessings I have experienced at Random Acts of Flowers is seeing how dedicated and passionate the workers and volunteers are there. They give so much of their time to ministry and it is inspiring as young people to see what a humble and true servant of Christ looks like and how we are all blessed with opportunities to follow their example.