For more than 25 years, St. Paul Lutheran Church has been providing Thanksgiving baskets to needy families in Blount County, and for 18 years it has partnered with the Blount County Schools Family Resource Center to identify families in need.

During the month of November, church members donated food items to fill 30 baskets (reusable bags) with nonperishable items, turkey, rolls and pies.

The church’s Comfort Quilt Ministry makes quilts for every child in the families, and this year that was 45 quilts.

Church members assembled the baskets, and families picked them up on Monday, Nov. 22.

The Blount County Schools Family Resource Center was created to provide information and support to families of at-risk youth enabling them to have a successful educational and social experience. The center works with local churches and nonprofit agencies to help families obtain needed services.

“All of our support comes through donations” Kelly Roberts, Family Resource Center coordinator said, “and we are very appreciative that St. Paul Lutheran Church partners with us each year to help provide Thanksgiving baskets to some of our families. The families are very appreciative for the food, but especially for the beautiful handmade quilts given to the children.”

“We have a long history of supporting local agencies like Community Food Connection, Family Promise and Good Neighbors” says Pastor Rick Ohsiek, “Our congregation believes that we are blessed to be a blessing to others. When needs arise, we do whatever we can to help our brothers and sisters.”

To learn more about Blount County Schools Family Resource Center, visit

To learn more about the ministries and worship at St. Paul Lutheran Church, contact the office at 865-982-4285 or visit the website stpaul

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