Alliance for Community Transformation (ACT) (New)

Appalachian Community Fund (New)

Beardsley Community Fund

Beck Cultural Exchange Center

Bridge Refugee Services (New)

Centro Hispano (New)

Community Gardens of TVUUC

Family Promise

FISH of Knox County

Highlander Center

Ijams Nature Center

Interfaith Health Clinic

Jobs with Justice East TN (New)

Lonsdale Elementary School Mentoring Project

Lonsdale Environmental Camp at Tremont

Ministry Intern Support Fund of TVUUC (New)

Planned Parenthood of Middle & East TN (PPMET)

Remote Area Medical (RAM)

Second Harvest Food Bank

SEEED (Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development)

Tennessee Equality Foundation (TEP)

Tennessee Health Care Campaign

Volunteer Ministry Center Meals

Descriptions of Share the Plate Organizations

ALLIANCE for  COMMUNITY TRANSFORMATION ACT (New) TVUUC in the person of Chris Buice worked to start ACT, and Gordon and Judy Gibson, Lance McCold, Mark Mohundro, Sally Buice, Andreas Bastias, Seema Singh-Perez, and Bill Cherry have attended training sessions. The issue of TVUUC becoming one of the member organizations of ACT either has been or soon will be before the TVUUC Board. ACT affirms in its mission “the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” It seeks to build bridges between diverse Knoxville area faith communities and non-partisan community organizations so that they can work for the common good, positive development, and greater justice. Nominated by: Gordon Gibson


The Appalachian Community Fund (ACF) is a publicly supported, non-profit grantmaking organization that provides resources and support to grassroots organizations working to overcome the underlying causes of poverty and injustice in Central Appalachia (East Tennessee, Eastern Kentucky, Southwest Virginia and West Virginia). We pool resources from a range of sources including individuals, businesses, and foundations to support community-led efforts and movement for social change, to support the training and leadership development necessary to strengthen the work in our region, and to cultivate the conditions for lasting, long-term change to be possible. ACF awards grants to community-based organizations working for social, economic, racial and environmental justice. We support communities with little or no access to other financial resources and grassroots groups which are often too small, too new, or working on issues that are too controversial for traditional funding sources. ACF also funds long-term strategic efforts to address the long-term problems of Central Appalachia. . Nominated by: Larry Kitchen


Beardsley Farm is an urban demonstration site that has promoted food security and sustainable urban agriculture through practice, education and community outreach. To further help them carry out their mission.  (Even though they are part of CAC they are not fully funded) Beardsley educates people primarily in the Mechanicsville area on where their food comes from and provides an alternative to today’s fast food culture. Supporting Beardsley helps TVUUC to live out the 7th principal. All of the food that Beardsley grows is given to those in need by various organizations. Nominated by: Dick Trowbridge


The Beck Center, “where African-American history is preserved,” is increasing its efforts to share the understanding of that history widely in Knox County, and to create a more broadly inclusive community. It hosts a variety of community groups, offers educational opportunities to public schools and to UT undergraduate and graduate students, and is a meeting place for many events. In all this it models the sort of inclusive and welcoming community that TVUUC aspires to be, and moves Knox County in a more loving and justice-based direction. Nominated by: Gordon Gibson


Bridge provides a variety of services to refugee families in the Knoxville area, before and after they arrive. (Refugee families are usually fleeing persecution or war, and they often arrive after many years in a refugee camp.) Bridge services include assistance in obtaining housing and employment, enrolling in school, learning English, and accessing support from other agencies and organizations. Some, but not all families have a co-sponsor. (TVUUC served as a co-sponsor last year for two Bridge families; these families have now left Knoxville. This nomination is to provide general financial assistance to Bridge, and not designated for any particular family.) In spite of recent Executive Orders trying to restrict the entry of new refugees, refugees are still being admitted to the U.S., and many families admitted in the last year are still receiving services from Bridge. The fear however, is that financial assistance previously given by the federal government (both to Bridge and directly to the families) will be reduced, affecting Bridge’s ability to provide the level of support needed. Share the Plate funds will help to make Knoxville a more welcoming community,, will assist those escaping discrimination based on race, ethnic group, religion, or political beliefs, and will enable families to become independent. Nominated by: Wendy Syer


A non-profit with limited funding. Cintro Hispano empowers and promotes civic engagement of local Latinos and other immigrant populations through education and social services. English classes are offered to clients four nights a week , as well as “good neighbor classes” such as tax preparation and medical and health information. Funds would help to continue to offer ESL classes and also fund children’s activities each night that parents are studying. Nominated by: Bob Grimac


Using sustainable gardening methods, the TVUUC Community Garden grows food for those in our area who are at nutritional risk, provides gardening space for members and friends of the church and is an outdoor classroom for both children and adults. The Donation Garden and the Living Memorial Orchard donate 100% of the harvests to the Knox County WIC program, a program that provides nutrition education and supplemental food to Women, Infants and Children who are at nutritional risk. Some of the fruits and vegetable that we deliver to WIC are used in their cooking classes to teach mothers how to prepare nutritious meals using fresh produce, and the mothers take the rest of our donations home to their families. The Community Garden also has a Personal Garden section where members and friends of the church can grow their own chemical-free food, often donating a portion to the WIC program. During the Summer, the Sunday classroom for the Children’s RE Program is the entire Garden. Children plant, tend and harvest food for WIC, exuberantly explore the natural world of the church’s outdoor sanctuary and joyfully practice the UU Children’s 7th Principle: learn about caring for our planet Earth, the home we share with all living things.The TVUUC Community Garden gives both children and adults hands-on opportunities to actively work towards ending the injustice of food insecurity in our community and brings people outdoors, to our sacred grounds where the natural world and spiritual growth intertwine. Indeed, the Garden is a beautiful place. Nominated by: Barbara Lamm


TVUUC is one of many interfaith congregations and organizations that open their doors and hearts to host homeless families 3-4 times a year. Families are given an evening meal and a safe place to stay at the host congregations as they work toward finding employment, transportation, and securing their own housing. Thirty TVUUC members and friends volunteer during each of our Family Promise host weeks. We cook dinner, serve as dinner hosts, do activities with the kids, and stay overnight. Families receive two years of case management after they leave the program to help them stay independent.  Family Promise is a shining example of how TVUUC transforms the world through acts of love and justice.  . Nominated by: Jayne Raparelli


FISH of Knox County was created to make food available to all of those in need right here at the local level. FISH is a local way to focus on social justice through personal acts of kindness directed towards addressing hunger. We believe that in a just and compassionate society all people deserve to have the basic necessities of life, especially nutritious food, without judgement.  FISH helps to transform the lives of those who give and who receive vital assistance.  FISH also nurtures spiritual growth; individual spiritual growth is often enhanced thru acts of kindness. At TVUUC we have a long tradition of support for FISH.  We staff the FISH phone line once a month, deliver food, and stock the West Knox FISH Pantry the month of December.  Delivering food for FISH is an eye opening experience. Recipients include the mentally ill, elderly, children, chronically ill, as well as people who usually do ok but are having temporary difficulties. Even though FISH is mainly run thru local (mostly Protestant) churches, there is no religious proselytizing; those of all creeds are respected. – Our long term association with other churches in the area is also a plus for our spiritual community.  Also, we have now partnered with Peace Lutheran Church to help with the costs and work of stocking the West Knox FISH Pantry in our month of December. Nominated by: Claire Meggs


The center is a historical institution located in New Market, TN dedicated to training people in programs of social change, civil rights, GLBT equality and environmental stewardship. It seeks to provide empowerment at the grassroots level. Nominated by: Chris Buice


Ijams Nature Center is a place that all people of all ages, all backgrounds can go to learn about nature and enjoy the beautiful scenery of East Tennessee life. Ijams would use the funds for educational programming, i.e. equipment, staff, promotion. Nominated by: Christie Collins  & Terry Uselton


The mission of the InterFaith Health Clinic is to provide accessible, affordable, quality health care to low-income, working uninsured and under-served individuals in our community, primarily through the support of the religious, health care and business communities. These services are provided within the capacity of the clinic, regardless of race, sex, creed, age, religion, national origin, or ability to pay. Nominated by: Larry Kitchen


Jobs With Justice believes that all workers should have collective bargaining rights, employment security, and a decent standard of living within an economy that works for everyone. We bring together labor, community, student, and faith voices at the national and local levels to win improvements in people’s lives and shape the public discourse on workers’ rights and the economy. JWJET is 100% volunteer but it takes money to support and train volunteers and to take action for justice. In terms of work for justice done per dollar spent, you will not likely ever find a more effective use of money. JWJET spends no money on the usual things that show how great or powerful an organization is. What JWJET does spend money on is people struggling for justice in the workplace, and on the training they need to move that struggle to a higher level. Nominated by: Lance McCold


Volunteers provide much needed mentoring support. They work at school, in classrooms, after school homework time, community garden, outdoor classrooms, pottery making and other activities helping to provide encouragement to the students and staff in this inner-city neighborhood. Funds would be used to provide school supplies that many students are unable to purchase. Nominated by: Cynthia Crosby-Myers


Supporting these inner city kids to connect with nature relates directly to many of UU’s seven principles, especially helping them to understand and have respect for the interdependent web of all existence. Participating in environmental camp also helps kids to accept and respect diversity, and to work together toward environmental and community benefits. Funds would be used to provide financial support for student participation in an environmental camp, without which participation will not be feasible.  Nominated by: David Ostermeier


To provide funds for our incoming Ministry Intern to attend conferences and workshops both locally and while at seminary. To purchase books and other continuing education materials and to help reimburse expenses (housing, parking at hospitals, etc.) Nominated by: Larry Kitchen


Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee has been a strong advocate and supporter of women’s ights, the LGBT community, access to health care for all, and comprehensive sex education. All contributions help PPMET continue to provide essential reproductive health care services to patients in East Tennessee; fund comprehensive sexuality programs for youth, parents, and professionals including the FYI Peer Education Program; and, build and sustain a local movement for reproductive freedom. Nominated by: Mark Mohundro


RAM’s free health clinics have enabled thousands to receive medical, vision and dental care, some for the first time, at no cost. It is a not-for-profit organization that has served people locally and globally for many years. It is completely supported by volunteer donations. Nominated by: Terry Uselton


Second Harvest buys, stores, packages and distributes food to a large number of local agencies. Second Harvest works with 520 partners in their 18 county service area to distribute food to the needy. Nominated by: Terry Uselton

SEEED (Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development)

SEEED creates pathways out of poverty for young adults through job readiness training, while equipping communities with environmental literacy skills. SEEED prepares low-income young people for good paying, sustainable jobs in Knoxville’s emerging green economy. Nominated by: Dick Trowbridge


Changing Hearts, Minds and Policies in Tennessee. Founded in 2005, TEP provides educational programs to advance the values of equality and inclusion for LGBITQ people. They work to advance positive legislation and fight negative legislation in local governments and at the state level. Tennesseans in every corner of our state deserve equal protection of the law. Nominated by: Larry Kitchen


The Tennessee Health Care Campaign (THCC) has fought for affordable accessible health care for all Tennesseans for 28 years. THCC’s efforts helped bring about TennCare (our Medicaid system) and then resisted cuts in eligibility faced by many health consumers due to short-sighted budget decisions. THCC has played a leading role since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA, referred to as “Obamacare”) came into being. We explain the ACA, outreached to health consumers, trained assisters and actually enrolled people in the ACA Marketplace. Today, THCC once again is in the midst of the fight for affordable health care statewide and nationally. We have been convenor and/or participant in town halls, vigils, phonathons, messaging to members of Congress and state legislators, social media, research and printed materials and support to faith-based groups like Moral Tennessee. THCC for the past two years has trained cultural sensitivity of assisters towards LGBT Tennesseans, one of the underinsured groups in the state. We published a new report on LGBT access to insurance and care in Tennessee. THCC has never stepped back from its mission: “THCC has kept the fire glowing for health care reform. We intend to continue until every Tennessean has access to quality health care at an affordable cost.” TVUUC has been a partner to THCC and has given the Campaign two of its five Executive Directors (Beth Uselton and Walter Davis). There are few gifts that reflect your mission “of love and justice” more than supporting a path to healthier individuals in a healthier community. Funds donated in your Share the Plate will work for affordable accessible health care for all, especially in the East TN area. Volunteers, including TVUUC members, and hopefully a regional organizer, will spread the news either that the ACA Marketplace is available for health insurance assistance and where volunteers can assist people. Or if the Congress repeals the basic benefits covered under the ACA and/or repeals insurance availability, your gift will support our reaching out to East Tennesseans with the story of denial of health care justice. We have created a statewide toll-free phone number staffed by volunteers and we will give health consumers the assistance we can provide either to get covered or get action for change. Nominated by: Walter Davis


VMC provides temporary meals, housing, and counseling in an attempt to help individuals move off the streets into permanent employment and housing. By purchasing, preparing, and serving nourishing and good tasting meals once a month to individuals who are attempting to take responsibility for their lives, we bear witness to and provide an invaluable service to ourselves and those we serve in the greater Knoxville Community. The fact that we have been consistently doing this for a number of years is indicative of our own loyalty and dedication to the program. we currently have 10-15 people involved in food purchasing, preparation, and serving. In this manner, we are embodying the mission statement of this church, that is “We are committed to working in interfaith partnerships to feed the hungry, protect the environment, empower social justice efforts, and celebrate religious freedom”. Share the Plate funds will be used to purchase groceries to serve at the VMC once a month. Nominated by: Allan Morgan