Service Projects and Ideas

Thanksgiving Cards for the Elderly

Once again - we will be collecting Thanksgiving Cards for Mobile Meals. It is such a simple act that means so much to the Elderly in our community.

We need over 1,200 cards. Every contribution helps get us closer to the goal. I will put out collection boxes at Thursday Connection, Masters Mondays, and Deane Hill Rec. Center. Feel free to drop your cards off at these locations or you can mail them in or deliver them to my house (Cedar Bluff Area). More information about the deadline will be posted soon.

Directions: Fold a piece of construction paper in half and decorate for Thanksgiving. We have used stickers, napkin cut outs, fake fall leaves, colored clip art, childrens drawings, the ideas are limitless. In the past I have printed several card savings so the kids could just glue them in. Bible verses are fine. I do ask that the cards be signed with a first name to make them more personable. No envelopes please.

This really does mean the world to the recipients. Please consider helping with this. Any extras above our goal will go to local nursing homes.

Penelope Email:

Truck Stop Ministries

Both Pilot (Strawberry Plains) and Petro's (Watt Road) need volunteers to serve one day per month through Truckstop Ministries. Contact Bill Irving at Pilot 548-3885 or Steve Johnson at Petro's 693-7768 or 824-6330 for more info.

The Great Sunflower Project

The Great Sunflower Project is looking for citizen scientists all over the U.S. to plant sunflowers and then observe how many and what kind of bees buzz by them. (All they're asking for is for you to take a look for 30 minutes twice a month and record what you see.) They're looking for folks to plant in urban, suburban, and rural environments. Participants can be any age. By watching and recording the bees at sunflowers in your garden, you can help them understand the challenges that bees are facing. The annual Lemon Queen sunflower seeds are ready to be sent out! It takes less than 30 minutes. It's easy. Free Sunflower seeds for planting. No knowledge of bees required! Enter your bee counts online or send in your paper form. When all the data is in, San Francisco State University scientists will use it to make a coast-to-coast pollination map, showing where bees are and aren't throughout the United States. Kits, with seeds for native sunflowers, are free and are being mailed out now. Join by visiting the project's website: or call (415) 847-1716.

Mission of Hope

Mission of Hope, Phone 694-4673, needs items that are new or gently used for infants - teens. Items include clothing, shoes, socks, underwear, hygiene. items, diapers, baby wipes, baby food, formula, strollers, car seats, high chairs, cribs, school supplies, backpacks, toys.

Please think of them as you are doing your cleaning out, yard sale leftovers, etc.

Call them for more info and drop off times.

Also Anglic Ministries on Central Ave. is always in need of items. They give away free to those in need. Just about anything and everything is needed and accepted from food, household items, clothing, furniture, hotel samples, cleaning supplies, etc.

They also need volunteers at both locations to help sort and distribute. This would be a good "mini" mission trip for families this summer.

Do You Love Horses?

STAR, Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding, is a non-profit program that challenges mentally, physically and neurologically disabled persons through the use of horses. STAR is 90% volunteer based and always welcomes new volunteers to be a part of our team. With the dedication and commitment of our volunteers, STAR continues to provide life-changing experiences for our participants.

Our Therapeutic Riding classes are year round and consist of 5 sessions each year, i.e. Spring Session (11 weeks), Summer Session (8 weeks), Fall Session (11 weeks), Mini-Term (2 weeks), and Winter Session (6 weeks).

Minimum commitment of 1 ¼ hours per week; same day/time for duration of session
Dependable & responsible
Positive attitude
Able to work independently
Able to walk for 30 minutes; some jogging required
Adequate body size, strength, and experience for specified task
No horse experience necessary

Lesson Volunteers (13 years and older)
STAR’s Lesson Vols assist our riders during their one hour class time. They help with the grooming and tacking process and act as a sidewalker during the mounted portion of the lesson. A typical class consists of four riders with one to three volunteers per rider. We train all of our volunteers by providing Lesson Volunteer Trainings prior to the start of every session.

Junior Volunteers (10-12 years old)
Our Junior Volunteers help with preparing the tack (equipment) for each class. Each rider and horse requires specific equipment and our junior vols are responsible for making sure that all of this is ready for class. Junior Vols also help clean stalls, sweep, or clean the barn area during class time. They are not directly involved with the lessons until the age of 13. STAR also provides training for our Junior Vols prior to the start of every session.

Other volunteer opportunities also available. For more information, please contact Melissa Suadi at (865) 988-4711 or Also, visit our website at

Mobile Meals Volunteer Opportunity

Below is some information about Mobile Meals. I really feel like it is a great volunteer opportunity for home school families. The Mobile Meals program serves noon meals, five days a week and holidays, to Knoxville and Knox County citizens who are at least 60 years old, who cannot cook for themselves and have no one to prepare meals for them. Though income is not a factor, clients are given an opportunity to contribute to the program as they can. 

Most Mobile Meals recipients are sweet elderly people.  You could be their only visitor for the day. 

If you can:
 • Give your lunch hour once a month...
• Give two hours twice a month...
• Come whenever you can...

 You can deliver Mobile Meals!

Accommodations are made to facilitate the volunteers' availability including satellite locations throughout Knoxville and Knox County for ease of picking up meals and dropping off insulated containers afterwards.

If you can help, or just want more information, please call Jennifer Oakes, Mobile Meals Volunteer Coordinator, 524-2786, or check the website at