Charity Spotlight – H.A.B.I.T. – Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee.

H.A.B.I.T.Established in 1986, H.A.B.I.T., comprised of representatives from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, volunteers from the community, and private veterinary practitioners, work to explore the circumstances and consequences of the human-animal bond and to promote this valuable bond between people and animals.

As a program of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, H.A.B.I.T. sponsors animal-assisted therapy programs for those of all ages in a variety of settings such as nursing and retirement homes, assisted living centers, hospitals, physical rehabilitation centers, and area schools.

H.A.B.I.T. is currently seeking people and pet volunteers. For more information or to volunteer, contact H.A.B.I.T. at (865) 974-5633 or

Charity Spotlight – Josh and Friends

Around the world, cuddly canines known as “therapy dogs” visit hospitals everyday to help replace a patient’s anxiety and fear with wet kisses and unconditional love. Josh, the loving, wag-happy vanilla-colored Golden Retriever based out of Knoxville, Tennessee is one of those amazing canines that daily brings comfort to hundreds of hospitalized children.

Developed by veterinarian Dr. Randy Lange to benefit children facing health or other challenges, Josh and Friends is based on Dr. Lange’s fun-loving family Golden Retriever, Josh, and capitalizes on the power of the human/animal bond to comfort, teach and encourage children.

As an extension of that mission, The Josh and Friends Project, is emerging to national attention with the ability to impact the lives of even more children. Using the book, I’ll Be O.K. and the cuddly “Josh” plush puppy, The Josh and Friends Project is helping transform anxious hospital stays for children into friendship-filled adventures to wellness.

Charity Spotlight – Water Angel Ministries

Water Angel Ministries is a Christian outreach ministry to the homeless and at-risk in Knoxville, TN. What started out as a Girl Scout mission project in 2002 to provide bottled water to the homeless, God has transformed into a ministry for his body to serve the “least of these.” This ministry is open to all who are hurting, lost, and broken.

The Water Angels provide many services to the hurting, lost, and homeless of the area. Here are just a few of their services.

  • Church service for the homeless and inner city residents every Sunday at 2 PM.
  • Discipleship & Bible Study every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday at 9 AM.
  • Back to School Block Part for the children. This year’s event is Saturday, August 13 from 10 Am until 2 PM.
  • Christmas Dinner and Worship for the homeless and inner city.

Every product donation received by Water Angel Ministries is given to the homeless. They do not sell anything. 100% of the financial donations received go toward operating the ministry and providing the services to assist the homeless into self-sufficiency. Every person volunteers their time, and no one draws a salary within the ministry. This is their way of giving back, and serving God whole-heartedly.

Charity Spotlight – Feeding God’s Children

Feeding God’s Children was founded in November 2005 as a program of the Global Outreach Ministry at Two Rivers Church, Lenoir City, TN.  In June of 2008, it became a separate 501(c)3 foundation.

In 1982, Pastor David Alvarez, with a small band of believers, started Centro Christiana Cultural de Guatemala in the midst of one of the poorest and desperate neighborhoods in Guatemala City. In 2002, with few resources but incredible faith in the power of God, they started a feeding program with 35 children from the neighborhood.

In 2004, Sid and Shannon Kemp, founders of Feeding God’s Children, visited pastor Alvarez’s church. When they saw the conditions the children were living in and the impact the program was having on the children, they were deeply impacted. Sid, Shannon and Pastor Alvarez decided to partner together to change a generation for Christ, one child at a time.

Feeding God’s Children is a conduit to provide organizational, financial and prayer support for their partners throughout the world. They currently partner with an orphanage ministry in Guatemala and a ministry in Appalachia that oversees a weekend food program to elementary children and supports teens at an alternative high school in Kentucky. Although the program can look different with each partner, their model is to provide some or all of the following:  nutritious meals, vitamins, hygiene, tutoring, skill training, school supplies and, most importantly, the love of Jesus Christ to God’s children all over the world.

Charity Spotlight – Mission of Hope

The Mission of Hope concentrates on serving people throughout poverty stricken rural areas of Appalachia in Southeast Kentucky and Northeast Tennessee. To accomplish their goals of providing assistance, the Mission of Hope seeks supplies, resources, monetary donations and grants from individuals, businesses, corporations, service groups and civic organizations. The Mission of Hope then distributes donated items and purchased materials to areas of rural Appalachia where they are then delivered to needy individuals and families through the support of school resource centers and local ministries, already established within the communities which they serve.

The Mission of Hope is a year round ministry that assists many of our Appalachian neighbors with much needed goods and resources; college scholarships; and help with basic educational, health care and home repair needs. There are lots of ways that you can help the Mission of Hope. One of the most important ways you can help is to keep their ministry and those they serve in your prayers. There are also numerous opportunities to volunteer your time both in their Knoxville office and warehouse and in the areas they serve. Of course, monetary donations are always a great way to help as it allows them to use the funds where it is needed most.

Resource Links: MOH Facebook Page ~~ MOH Twitter Feed ~~ WBIR Interview with Emmette Thompson

Charity Spotlight – The Dream Connection

The Dream Connection is a non-profit organization dedicated to fulfilling the special dreams of children ages 3-18 who are faced with life threatening or chronically debilitating illnesses in the East Tennessee area. A “dream come true” to a child can give back, in some small way, that which disease and illness have taken away. Its goal is to accept and raise charitable contributions exclusively for fulfilling the “once-in-a-lifetime dream come true” of children between the ages of three and eighteen, with life-threatening or chronically debilitating illnesses in the East Tennessee community. It is dedicated to directing 100% of its contributions to fulfilling the dreams of the children it serves. As the only organization of its kind in East Tennessee, The Dream Connection is the result of a group of volunteers who realized the need for an organization dedicated to fulfilling the special dreams of children battling life-threatening or chronically debilitating illnesses. 25 years and hundreds of dreams later, The Dream Connection continues to fulfill the dreams of children diagnosed with leukemia, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, and other conditions.About 60 to 75 dreams are fulfilled per year through the support of individuals, businesses, and civic organizations.

Charity Spotlight – Ronald McDonald House

The Ronald McDonald House of Knoxville provides a “home away from home” for families of seriously ill children receiving treatment at nearby hospitals. The House provides a comfortable, supportive, temporary residence near the medical facility where family members can sleep, eat, relax and find support from other families in similar situations. Knoxville’s Ronald McDonald House has been serving families of sick and injured children since 1985.

There are numerous ways in which you can help the Ronald McDonald House: Monetarily, become a volunteer, bring items from their Wish List, participate in upcoming events, or check out their list of  other ways to help.

Resource Links: RMH Web Site ~~ RMH Facebook Page ~~ RMH Twitter Feed