For many families in Tennessee, just meeting the most basic needs can be a struggle. Helping those families is at the core of the mission for the Appalachian Ministries of the Smokies. Formerly known as Appalachian Outreach, the organization offers assistance with food, housing, clothing, and other basic needs to families across multiple counties.
Founded in 1984, AMOS began as a program created by the Campus Ministries’ office of Carson-Newman University, as an opportunity for students to connect with and serve the local community. Over nearly forty years and counting, the organization has expanded with the help of generous volunteers and donors. Today, it serves families in need across Jefferson, Grainger, Cocke, and Hamblen counties.
AMOS provides support in a number of ways, including:
- Home repairs, remodels, and accessibility improvements, including repairs from damage by fire or natural disaster
- A food pantry, with assistance from staff to meet dietary needs and restrictions
- Vouchers for clothing and shoes with partner agency, Second Source Outlet Center
- Samaritan House, an emergency shelter for women and children experiencing a housing crisis
All of these services are supported by the generosity of community members who donate food, clothing, and other items; volunteer to assist in various locations; and financially support the organization. In addition to these direct services, AMOS also partners with Second Source Thrift Store, which serves individuals who may not feel comfortable receiving services from AMOS. Funds raised from sales at the thrift store provide a significant portion of the funding for the food pantry, the new Samaritan House, and much more.
Volunteers and staff work together at each location, providing year-round assistance to families in need. The home repair program, also largely volunteer-staffed, operates for approximately ten weeks every summer. AMOS volunteers, as well as skilled workers affiliated with a network of partner churches around the country, complete a number of projects every year to help families feel safe and at home.
“Appalachian Ministries of the Smokies helps families who has lost their home due to fire or any other disaster,” said Donna Howell, Executive Search Consultant for the HR practice at Blue Rock Search. “They help unwed mothers and their families, and also help underprivileged families with food and clothing. The organization was started by Carson-Newman College, and I am an alumna.”
Blue Rock is proud to highlight and support the incredible work of Appalachian Ministries of the Smokies!
About Blue Rock Gives Back
At Blue Rock, part of our corporate culture is finding ways to help people whenever the opportunity arises. In the Blue Rock Gives Back program, our employees each choose a cause that is personally important. Then, on a monthly basis, we select one of those charities and make a donation. We believe that even small acts can make the world a better place.
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