Church Member: 'We're all just a step away'
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- The Seventh Day Adventist Church in Hixson has a small congregation with a very big heart.
Since November, the 107 members have been collecting all sorts of items donated by their own and their community, which will end up in the hands of Chattanooga's homeless.
"Items that they can use, that they can fit into their backpack, like travel shampoo and things like that," explains church member, April Porter.
Other items like gloves, blankets, and sleeping bags have also been dropped off at the church to help keep the homeless warm during the upcoming winter.
The donations will be grouped into individual gift bags, adorned with snowflake patterns to put everyone in the holiday season. They'll be passed out at a special Christmas dinner this weekend.
Event organizer Sylvia Knoch has attended the church for 13 years and believes giving to those who are less fortunate is important because we all have a story and lives can changes at the drop of a hat.
"We're all just a step away, especially in these times that we live in right now," says Knoch.
Her message was simple: 'do whatever you can to help'. Knoch says many of us may think a pair of socks or a toothbrush won't have an impact, but it means the world to someone living on the streets.
"By providing just a little bit and giving back just a little bit, that little bit makes a difference," declares Knoch. "It makes a difference to all of us, just knowing that someone cares."
Kimmie Marler heard about the program from Knoch. Marler isn't a member the church but felt compelled to get involved wrapping the gifts.
"I'm really excited to be able to help out because it's really cold out there and they don't have a lot of hope," says Marler.
The church's goal is to fill at least 150 gift bags and Knoch hopes to receive more support in the final push for donations Saturday.
"We just want to take this little bit of time to make them [the homeless] feel important," says Knoch.
If you would like to make a donation, bring only unused items to the church at 6424 Hixson Pike from 3-7 p.m. Saturday.
For more information you can call 423-544-4382.