Summit View Senior Community resident John Crisman smiles as he gathers sweatshirts, canned goods, kitchen supplies and stuffed animals to take to the Chattanooga Community Kitchen. He encourages all his North Hamilton neighbors to drop off more items at Summit View before staff and residents take the donated items to CCK Nov. 15.
The Red Bank resident has been working as a volunteer for at least a decade for the downtown nonprofit that serves the Greater Chattanoga community.
"We [at Summit View] try to do something for the community every year," said Crisman. "In the fall season we want to do something for the homeless that need help to make it a happier holiday for them. We've been collecting items for the Chattanooga Community Kitchen since they do so much work with the homeless."
He said he would like the homeless to receive the donations before Thanksgiving Day.
"The Community Kitchen serves in excess of 117,000 meals per year and is always in need of food donations," said Crisman. "They serve three meals per day seven days per week."
The kitchen is open to anyone needing a meal and he said 200 people were recently served in one day.
"My sister, Edith Yantis, volunteers at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen," said Crisman. "When they remodeled the kitchen they named it after her. Her photo is on the back wall. Several organizations have helped supply equipment to the kitchen."
Volunteers like himself see a lot of the same people in need coming through the food line at CCK. Those being helped have different problems but most are homeless, said Crisman, adding that CCK has a place for the homeless to come in and rest. The facility serves as a mailing address for the homeless and as a place for them to receive foot care. Crisman said many use the kitchen's phone to make calls to look for jobs.
"I would encourage people to volunteer at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen," said Crisman. "The kitchen does a lot to give these people a place to go to stay off the streets. Chattanooga Community Kitchen only gets donations from churches, businesses and individuals - the kitchen does not receive government help."
His donation drive was made possible by gifts from grocery stores, restaurants, businesses and individuals, he said.