November 5, 2013

Nov. 5, 2013

For more information,
Contact: Natalie Lester
Moxley Carmichael
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Knoxville News Sentinel needs community partners to lend helping hand to 3,600 families during holidays

Continuing a tradition that began in 1912, the mission of the News Sentinel Empty Stocking Fund is to provide food and toys to disadvantaged East Tennesseans. With the holidays quickly approaching, the program is accepting donations and registering volunteers in anticipation of assembling and distributing 3,600 food baskets.

“The Empty Stocking Fund cannot be successful in its mission to serve the underserved of East Tennessee without our community partners and volunteers,” said Patrick Birmingham, president and publisher of the News Sentinel. “It is important we all do our part to make the holidays bright for all our neighbors.”

The Empty Stocking Fund program is primarily funded by community donations and support. Volunteers are needed December 17-21 at the Jacob Building in Chilhowee Park to build, assemble and distribute 3,600 holiday food baskets, toys and books to neighbors in need. Baskets will be filled with more than a week’s worth of groceries, which families use to prepare traditional meals for the holidays. Approximately 3,000 toys and gifts will also be organized and distributed to children up to age 16.

“Our neighbors need caring members of our community to volunteer and donate more than ever before,” said Barbara Kelly, executive director of the Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC). “This year we expect to receive more than the 4,000 applications we received in 2012.”

The Empty Stocking Fund is one of East Tennessee’s most-cherished charity events, and it depends on this community of volunteers who step up to help those less fortunate at Christmas.

“The Empty Stocking Fund has provided for needy families for 100 years because of the tremendous spirit of this community,” Kelly said. “It is wonderful to watch it come together every Christmas season.”

If you want to help during distribution week, please sign up on the volunteer tab at or call 865-342-6945.

To contribute to the News Sentinel Empty Stocking Fund, please donate online at or send your check to: News Sentinel Empty Stocking Fund, 2332 News Sentinel Drive, Knoxville, TN 37921. Please indicate with the donation how you would like to be listed in the News Sentinel, as all donations are published as a thank you.

Applications for the 2013 Empty Stocking Fund will be taken Monday to Wednesday, Nov. 25-27, and Monday to Friday, Dec. 2-6, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at these CAC Neighborhood Center locations:

• East Center, 4200 Asheville Highway, Holston Shopping Center
• South Center, 522 Old Maryville Pike, Vestal Boys & Girls Club
• West Center, 2247 Western Ave., L.T. Ross Building

On Saturday, Dec. 7, 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m., applications will be taken at the West Center only.

Households applying for an Empty Stocking Fund basket must bring the following in order to complete the application:

• Proof of Social Security numbers for everyone in the home (no exceptions)
• Proof of rent, mortgage or subsidized housing
• Recent utility bill
• Proof of income, earned or unearned
• Proof of the amount of food stamps received

For more information, contact the CAC Christmas Clearinghouse at 865-524-2521.