KCDC ‘Christmas in July’ collects housewarming gifts for homeless

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This story originally appeared in the Shopper News on Aug. 17. 

KCDC’s Community Involvement Committee members deliver 15 “Christmas in July” boxes for the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee Pillow Project on Aug. 1. The boxes, filled with personal hygiene and household items, are delivered as housewarming gifts to individuals and families who transition out of homelessness and into permanent housing. Pictured from left: Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation employees Diana Willett, Jennifer Bell, Shana Love and Robert Justice.

KCDC’s Community Involvement Committee members deliver 15 “Christmas in July” boxes for the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee Pillow Project on Aug. 1. Pictured from left: Diana Willett, Jennifer Bell, Shana Love and Robert Justice.

Throughout the month of July, members of the Community Involvement Committee challenged their Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation coworkers at each property to prepare a “Christmas in July” surprise to help the homeless.

The 15 colorful Christmas boxes, which included personal hygiene items, cleaning products, kitchen items, bedding and more, were delivered to the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee (CAC) at the beginning of August to assist homeless families, individuals and seniors.

The boxes will be distributed through CAC’s Pillow Project, which helps homeless individuals and families get a fresh start by providing basic household and hygiene items as they move into permanent housing. The program seeks to ease the transition from homelessness and increase housing stability.

“The people receiving these items are low-income families and individuals who are likely moving into KCDC housing,” said Shana Love, Community Involvement Committee chair for Knoxville’s Community Development Corporation. “Our hope is that other organizations will donate just like we have. CAC has been sending out the materials they have been receiving all year, and they are at the point in the middle of the year where they are running low on supplies for the welcome baskets.”

CAC will use the materials donated by KCDC and other companies to ensure each individual or family receives the necessary supplies as a housewarming gift.

In addition to its homeless transition programs, CAC provides other services for low-income individuals, including transportation, utilities assistance, preschool programs, food and nutrition programs and case management at KCDC’s high-rise buildings.

For more information on CAC, visit www.knoxcac.org.

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