KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – It’s a busy place in the Bearden area, especially during Thanksgiving week.
The man behind Willy’s Butcher Shop is thankful that business has stayed pretty steady during the pandemic. He’s also been paying it forward since March, giving away thousands of pounds of chicken, ground beef, and now turkey to those who need it.
William Carithers has been in the meat industry for 20 years. He has a great story about how Willy’s Butcher Shop came to be.
“Years ago, I had Carithers Market up on Bearden Hill, and I learned very quickly ‘Carithers’ was, for a lot of people, hard to spell and hard to pronounce,” he told us. “I wanted something that was very simple, very easy, just slides right off the tongue.”
Willy’s Butcher Shop works. It’s been a thriving neighborhood go-to since 2013.
“I’ve been very fortunate and right now, I have a really good, supportive staff that’s here to help any and all of our customers, so, just, we’re very fortunate,” he said.
Carithers has taken his gratitude and turned it into a giveaway for families in need, handing out 200 turkeys recently in what was dubbed “Willy’s Great American Turkey Giveaway.”
“People were hurting, ” he told us, “and you know, it choked me up.”
He doesn’t just hand out food. He takes time to listen.
“This guy came up, ” Carithers said. “He had three kids under the age of 10. He was crying.”
“He was like, ‘right now I have a job, but I can’t work, I’ve lost my wife.’ His kids were out of school. What does a guy like that do? You know? There’s many people like that.”
Giving back when times are easy is one thing. Digging deep to give during the tough moments is quite another.
Our thanks to Willy’s Butcher Shop, this week’s WATE 6 On Your Side Hero.
For more information, visit Willy’s Butcher Shop.
Carithers says simply, “I don’t do any of this to get press, get accolades, we just want and I feel with this whole pandemic, I felt so compelled because at the end of the day, if people don’t come in this store, I wouldn’t have a business.”
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