Knoxville church celebrates grand opening of 'Kids Kloset' free

Knoxville church celebrates grand opening of 'Kids Kloset' free school supply program

Knoxville, TN -

6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - With school set to begin for Knox County students in just a few weeks, one Knoxville church is doing all it can to make sure area students have what they need for the new year.

Faith United Methodist Church held the ribbon cutting Sunday for its new Kids Kloset.

It’s a new initiative that’s helping provide the neediest children in East Tennessee with the new clothes and school supplies they need, but cannot afford.

Located at the church, local children and their families can visit the Kids Kloset and receive clothing and school supplies at no cost.

"We have school supplies. We have shoes. We have belts,” said Vicki Easterday, director of the children’s ministry at FUMC.

The idea for the program came when staffers in FUMC’s children’s program were notified of the vast amount of children in the surrounding area who need help.

"We found out schools just over the hill have 87 percent of students on free or reduced lunch. A lot of those kids don't even have money for lunch, let alone school clothes and school supplies,” said Easterday. "A lot of times they don't have the money to provide this stuff so that's why we're here to help them out."

The church has been overwhelmed by donations from the community to help fill the Kids Kloset.

"We have backpacks. Paper, pencils and composition books,” said Easterday. "We love kids and we want to do what we can for the kids."

Knox County Commissioner R. Larry Smith was in attendance at Sunday’s ribbon cutting, and says the program is going to make a huge difference in the district.

"I think it's great that we have the Kids Kloset because we are right smack dab in the middle of need,” said Smith. "It can make a huge difference. Right down this street, it can make an absolutely huge difference. Can you imagine when the kids come? It's going to be like Christmas to them.”

FUMC is still looking for more donations, specifically for school supplies.

The first day the children and their families can visit the Kids Kloset is Saturday, August 2 from 9 am until noon.

After that, it will be open the third Saturday of every month from 9 am until noon, and the first Wednesday of every month from 6 pm to 7:30 pm.

For more information, contact Faith United Methodist Church at 865-688-1000 or through their website.

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