Nov. 25, 2013
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. The Tennessee men's golf team recently took time out of its busy schedule to lend a helping hand at The Love Kitchen in northeast Knoxville. The young men spent their time assisting the kitchen in a variety of ways and taking in the experience of what it truly means to be a Tennessee Volunteer.
"Volunteering at The Love Kitchen was a great experience for the team," senior Brandon Rodgers said. "I think that it's always a great way for the golf team to come together and give something back to the community that supports us. It's pretty crazy to see what Helen and Ellen have established at the Love Kitchen and we were thrilled we could spend the day with them and help out."
The Love Kitchen is a non-profit organization feeding the homebound of the Knoxville area. The organization provide meals, clothing and emergency food packages to homebound, homeless and unemployed persons. The Kitchen works with local agencies to provide meals, secure used clothing, and donate services in the hope of promoting self-sufficiency of those they serve.
The organization has no paid staff and states the ultimate goal is to provide nourishment for anyone who is hungry and to establish a community center to serve as a safe haven for supporting area children and their families.
"I thought it was really fun," sophomore Chad Merzbacher said. "We worked hard as a team to help those in need. We made 510 bags of canned goods. It was just a wonderful experience helping out the less fortunate."
Tennessee men's golf head coach Jim Kelson stresses how important it is to support the endeavors of such a great cause by making the yearly visit to The Love Kitcen a Tennessee golf tradition.
"It's always nice to give back to people who are less fortunate," sophomore Michael Monroe said. "I strongly feel as if we need to do a lot more of this stuff because it will make us into better men in general."
To learn more about The Love Kitchen, please visit: thelovekitchen.org
Brief overview of The Love Kitchen:
In 1984, Helen Ashe first dreamed of creating a program to serve the needy of Knoxville. One day as she was watching television she saw a soup line operated by the Church Street United Methodist Church and she knew then what her mission was to be. Her twin sister, Ellen, quickly shared in her excitement and joined in her new quest.
The sisters, born in Abbeville, South Carolina, feel that the concept of The Love Kitchen has always been with them in the ideals instilled by their parents. Ellen and Helen are very thankful for the teachings of their parents and will always remember the three "truths" their father taught them:
- 1. There is only one Father and that is the Father in Heaven.
- 2. There is only one race, the human race.
- 3. Never take the last piece of bread. Someone may come by in need of it.
Helen and Ellen's dream became a reality in the basement of a small church in February 1986. The first day the Love Kitchen opened its doors, they served 22 meals. Today The Love Kitchen prepares over 2,000 meals each week and more than eighty percent of these meals are delivered to homebound recipients.