by Martha Rose Woodward
Sunspherebook@aol.com Challenge Thrift Store located at 2017 North Broadway has had a good year since they opened in mid-summer 2011. However, they need more shoppers and more donations.
Teen Challenge saw an increase in shoppers after our first review in the KJN and have requested that we write about them again to let shoppers know about the great deals you can find at one of the newest thrift stores in town.
According to staff member, Francis Southerland, the Teen Challenge Ministries began in New York over 50 years ago and the early history of the program was recorded in 1962 in the book, The Cross and the Switchblade, by Reverend David Wilkerson.
Teen Challenge is a 24 hour a day, 7 day a week residential program for women in trouble. Area judges often recommend the program to women who appear in their courts and probation officers do the same. Teen Challenge often has a waiting list as they can only care for 20 women at a time. The phone number for the ministry is 865 546 8933.
Store staff members Francis Southerland and Kristol Jenkins are also graduates of the Teen Challenge program. Kristol has been a member for 16 months while Francis has been involved with TC for nearly two years. Southerland says she found a new way of thinking and better ways of handling problems through finding a relationship with God. Jenkins says she has found happiness and peace through the program. Southerland says the backbone of the ministry is to “…reach out to the lost and suffering women of Tennessee with the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ.“
In order to raise money for the ministry, the organization opened the Teen Challenge Thrift Store.
Southerland says that business is going good, but they need more shoppers. Even though most of their employees are volunteers who are enrolled in their program, making enough money to pay basic bills is a real challenge for Teen Challenge with the high rental rates for their prime location.
Teen Challenge Women’s Ministries is asking for two things: l. They need for you to come and shop at their store, and 2. They are asking for donations of clothing, jewelry, toys, furniture, household items or anything you think would help them to raise some money.
They want the community to know that all money earned goes back into the 501c3 program and is kept in this area. They will pick up any and all donations if you will phone the store to set up a time at 865 360 3165.