Bridging the Gap: Second Chance Closet a success

Bridging the Gap

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – Donations are pouring in for the Second Chance Closet helping inmates who have just been released from jail , have something appropriate to wear to job interviews.

WATE 6 On  Your Side has been a donation site for the past three weeks, and we’ve enjoyed meeting several of you , and hearing your words of support for inmates working to avoid going back behind bars.

Clothing racks are filling up, stacks of folded items are ready to go, with different colors and patterns to choose from.

The Second Chance Closet near the Knox County Detention Facility is coming together thanks to so many donations from our community.

And it’s not just clothing; People are bringing in necessities like deodorant, soap, and some extras – Bracelets, necklaces, earrings and rings donated by Kris Emmert whose “Providing Promise” ministry is all about giving women a message of hope and support.

“I believe in giving women the promises that they can make it,” Emmert says, “They need hope and they just need somebody to step up and put their arm around them and tell them ‘you’re gonna make it, we’re going to walk this road with you and we’re going to make sure that we help you.’ “

Emmert ‘s granddaughter Isabella came along to drop off the donations at our WATE 6 On Your Side studios, sharing with us an important lesson about giving back, saying, “I could show the love that God gives to other people even through the smallest things like a piece of jewelry.”

Laken Conley works one-on-one with inmates like Kenneth McBrayer, and sees the need for the clothing closet every day.

“We want people to be able to leave here with dignity,” Conley says, “and to leave here on the right food and especially be warm.”

McBrayer, walking out of the clothing closet’s makeshift dressing room looking like a whole new person, saying, “It feels better than one of those uniforms they give us.”

From shoes to pants, a nice shirt and sweater, what someone took the time to share gives someone else a better chance at a second chance.

McBrayer saying to those who have donated, simply, “Thank you.”

McBrayer, like a majority of inmates , has been in and out of the system for years. He is currently serving time for a DUI conviction.

WATE ‘s donation drive for Second Chance Closet ended November 27th, but you can still take donations to:

City-County Building
400 Main Street SW
Knoxville, TN 37902

Knox County Sheriff’s Office- Halls Precinct
7326 Norris Freeway (Old Wal Mart Shopping Center)
Knoxville, TN 37918
(865) 922-1070

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