Nov. 28, 2012
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. The Tennessee men's golf team recently took time out of their busy schedules to lend a helping hand at Knoxville's Love Kitchen. The team 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.
"It just felt like a good thing to go out of our way and help other people," Freshman Chad Merzbacher said. "I think we came together a little bit as a team. Also, I think everyone felt a sense of warmth inside of them because they helped those in need."
The Love Kitchen is a non-profit organization feeding the homebound of the Knoxville area. They 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 they state their 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.
"It was a humbling experience to be honest," Junior and Farragut, Tenn., native Brandon Rodgers said. "Helen, Ellen, and Greg are so passionate about their work at The Love Kitchen and it was nice to spend an afternoon with them and helping them with whatever they needed."
A brief background on The Love Kitchen (from thelovekitchen.org):
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.