This June, the Ross Medical Education Center campus in Knoxville wanted to contribute their community service efforts to an organization that was dedicating to making a difference without asking for anything in return. In keeping with this desire, they reached out to support the Love Kitchen, a local well-known and well-loved community organization. Since its humble beginning on February 14th, 1986, the Love Kitchen has sought to provide meals, clothing, and emergency food packages to members of the community that are homeless, unemployed, or homebound.
Love Kitchen was founded by twin sisters, Helen Ashe and Ellen Turner, in the heart of the Knoxville community. These sisters have devoted their lives to serving those in need in their area. A few years ago the sisters were featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Oprah had heard about all that they had done and worked for and decided to invite them to her show in an effort to highlight their amazing lives. One of their founding principles is one that the sisters always lived by: “Never take the last piece of bread as someone else may come along that needs it.” Even in the midst of receiving national attention, the members of their hometown community remained their biggest fans.
This community support was seen very well this spring when one of the sisters, Ellen Turner, passed away at age 87. There has been an outpouring from the Knoxville residents of service, gratitude, and sorrow for the loss of a woman who saw a need and made a difference. In the midst of all of the support, many of the Ross community were personally touched and wanted to join the cause. Mary Tanenbaum, Campus Director, said, “I spoke to some of our students, and they shared that they had needed assistance and the Love Kitchen had made a difference. We wanted to give back to this project now that they are on their way to becoming Knoxville’s future professionals.” The staff, faculty, and students at the campus are currently collecting food and have a goal of 100% participation from their new campus.
To learn more about the Love Kitchen or Helen and Ellen, visit their Facebook page or their website at www.thelovekitchen.org.