SEVIERVILLE (WATE) - If you want to help a child in need this holiday season, would you consider a teenager?
While most charities focus on kids under 12, one place in Sevierville is specifically helping teens.
"We have a lot of families who struggle," said Kim Loveday, the director and only employee of the Sevier County Family Resource Center.
Back in 1996, she decided she wanted to help needy teens in her community at Christmas, not with toys or electronics, but with the basic necessities of clothing and personal hygiene items.
"I've had parents and grandparents call me and say they don't have clothes. I've had them say they didn't go to school because of that," Loveday said. "You have nurses and guidance and principals call and ask if we have any hygiene because students really need it."
The first year she helped 30 teens. Now, the list is close to 300.
"Those sometimes are luxuries for these teens, when these parents are striving just to put food on the table or provide for their younger siblings. A lot of time they give up for their younger siblings," said Vicki Kay.
She and Deana Long are two of Loveday's elves. They sponsor several teens each year.
"Most people are actually looking to take care of the younger children and buy the toys and the goodies and with these teens, they really don't get that opportunity," Long said.
The resource center depends solely on community donations and sponsors. The clothing cost for one teen usually adds up to about $75.
"It's not like it's massive, but it's to help them with clothes and self esteem and if they've got good clothes and they're clean when they go to school, that's a big thing on self esteem," Loveday said.
The resource center is still looking for sponsors for more than 200 teenagers.