‘We just want to fill the need,’ nonprofit organizations help kids get back to school


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Several nonprofit organizations are teaming up to help kids start school on the right foot.

Safe Haven Empowerment Center helped host a back-to-school celebration on Sunday with The Love Spark and Grandma’s Hands.

“We just want to fill the need,” said Alisa Simpson with Grandma’s Hands. “All children need haircuts [and] their parents might not have the money.”

That’s why the Safe Haven Empowerment House, The Love Spark and Grandma’s Hands offered free haircuts and back-to-school supplies. All of these organizations are working together to help create a better Knoxville.

“The Safe Haven is a great resource for teens, for young men that might even need mentorship,” said Lindsey Stone with The Love Spark. “The same we’re doing with women.”

Simpson added, “Grandma’s Hands is a nonprofit and we house homeless women and children.”

The Love Spark and Grandma’s Hands are hoping to create their own safe haven for women who have nowhere to go.

“There’s very little housing for women in Knoxville, and we need that,” Simpson said.

They were inspired by Lawrence Williams and the work he does with Safe Haven by creating a safe space for Knoxville’s at-risk youth.

“His ministry helped my grandson and I know it’s helping a lot of other boys in the area as well,” Simpson said.

Williams said that they are providing teens with life skills so they can create a better future for themselves.

“A lot of times we see our young men fall victims to the streets,” Williams explained. “You want to get them at an early age. Some years ago we use to say we got to get them by the time they’re 12 years old, now you go to get them as early as nine and 10 years old.”

They’re making sure these young kids have the school supplies they need now, to set them up for a better tomorrow.

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