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University’s Appalachian Outreach Ministry moves to 20,000 square-foot building

Dilyn Palmer, a junior at Morristown’s Cornerstone Academy, helps to stock shelves in the dry pantry of Appalachian Outreach’s new location. She was joined by several students of the school who helped the ministry prepare its new home for service.

(Oct. 6, 2015) — Carson-Newman University’s Appalachian Outreach has a new home with more space to carry out their ministry. The organization moved this week to the former BAE building on Municipal Drive.

Appalachian Outreach has been in the same building on Old Andrew Johnson Highway since it opened 31 years ago, and the organization did not have plans to move. Appalachian Outreach Executive Director Jean-Ann Washam says they were able to occupy the new building thanks to the success of Second Source thrift store, the profits from which go to Appalachian Outreach.

It wasn’t something we were looking to do, but when it happened it was obvious to me that it was a gift from God,” Washam says. “The new building gives us better logistics from handicap accessibility, to parking, to the walk-in refrigerator and freezer.”

Initially Appalachian Outreach planned to use the new building just for its home-repair ministry, but the staff soon realized the 20,000 square foot facility had much more office space and storage potential. The organization will maintain the old building as a drop-off location for furniture and firewood ministries.

Local volunteers managed the nearly two-year moving effort, from building shelves to stocking them. Washam says the need for volunteers doesn’t end with opening day.

“Because of the layout of the building, we’ll need even more volunteers,” Washam says. “At the old building we had the same people working the pantry and covering the phones and that won’t be possible now.”

Appalachian Outreach is open for food and clothing distribution 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and furniture distribution Mondays from 1-4 p.m. and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10-4 p.m. (call first for availability). Firewood distribution ministries will begin in November.

Appalachian Outreach, a department within Carson-Newman University’s division of Student Affairs, helps connect people in need with those who have resources in order to help the less fortunate. It is now located at 511 Municipal Drive in Jefferson City.

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