Elementary and middle school students across Anderson, Knox and Hamblen County, including Clinton City Schools and Oak Ridge City Schools, recently participated in the Annual Goodwill Sack Pack material drives. Over 1,200 students from all three counties brought in an approximate total of 33,323 pounds of donations for Goodwill Industries-Knoxville.

Between May 4 and May 15, students were encouraged to bring donations of gently used clothing, toys and other household goods to school to benefit Goodwill Industries. In exchange for their donations, students were rewarded with free snacks from McDonald’s, free passes to the American Museum of Science and Energy and/or the opportunity to win two free passes to Dollywood. One Hamblen County classroom won an ice cream party for having the most participation in the county.

Those donations will make their way into Goodwill’s 30 retail stores; proceeds from the sale of those donations will allow Goodwill Industries-Knoxville, Inc. to provide vocational services and employment opportunities to people with barriers to employment across their 15 county service area.

Sponsors of the Sack Packs include Goodwill Industries-Knoxville, Inc., WBIR-TV, Keep Morristown-Hamblen Beautiful, Keep Anderson County Beautiful, the American Museum of Science and Energy, McDonald’s, Dollywood and all participating school systems.

Goodwill Industries-Knoxville, Inc. would like to thank all of the participating schools and students for their donations and for helping provide job opportunities in East Tennessee.

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It’s that time of year again, when family and friends watch their loved ones walk across the stage. Graduation is a wonderful celebration for everyone, and The District in Bearden has just the right spots to make that special day perfect.

Food is by far the best thing that brings family and friends together. What better way than to go to one of the many delicious restaurant choices offered by The District? There are two restaurants we have in mind that will fulfill your craving on graduation day.

First you should consider Bistro by the Tracks. Bistro embodies an inviting atmosphere with a diverse wine list. This casual and elegant spot has multiple gluten-free options for those who are interested. This restaurant is “Knoxville’s answer to metropolitan dining”.

If you and your group are in the mood for southern cuisine, The Grill at Highlands Row is a great choice for a high-quality steak and seafood dinner. The Grill at Highlands Row serves all natural grass-fed beef, along with prime cuts and premium selections. Their bread comes from local bakeries and their local cheeses are from Sweetwater Valley. Happy hour is from 5-7 p.m., just in time for dinner after graduation.

Because graduation is such a large event with many people celebrating, reservations are appreciated in The District.

Other than food, gifts are fun too, right? What better way to honor your graduate than to have his or her diploma custom framed by Bennett Galleries?

Bennett Galleries has a wide selection of frames and experienced framers who offer museum quality framing. Framing has been a part of this company for over 30 years, so they are sure to impress. If you mention this blog, Bennett Galleries will give you 20% off your purchase when you get a diploma custom framed. That is a sale that you do not want to miss out on! While you’re at Bennett, take a look at these awesome city prints from The Happy Envelope!

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On Friday, May 8, Knox County’s Carter Elementary School students helped to officially kick off the 28th Annual Straight from the Heart Sack Pack Material Drive to benefit Goodwill Industries-Knoxville. Sack Pack donation drives are taking place May 11th through 15th in Knox County, Anderson County, Hamblen County, Oak Ridge City and Clinton City elementary and middle schools. Students are encouraged to bring donations of gently used clothing, toys and other household goods to their schools to benefit Goodwill Industries-Knoxville.

In exchange for their bag of donations, participating Knox and Anderson county students will be rewarded with a McDonald’s ‘Be Our Guest’ coupon and a free admission coupon to the American Museum of Science and Energy. Hamblen County students will receive a McDonald’s coupon and the opportunity to win tickets to Dollywood or win an ice cream party for their class.

Last year, students brought in nearly 40,000 pounds of donations for Goodwill Industries-Knoxville, Inc. during the Sack Pack donation drives. Donations made to Goodwill are sold in Goodwill’s 30 regional retail stores; proceeds allow Goodwill Industries-Knoxville to provide vocational services and employment opportunities to people with barriers to employment across their 15 county service area across East Tennessee.

Sack Pack sponsors include Goodwill Industries-Knoxville, Inc., WBIR-Channel 10, the American Museum of Science and Energy, McDonald’s, Keep Anderson County Beautiful, Keep Hamblen-Morristown Beautiful, and Dollywood.

For more information regarding the Goodwill Sack Pack Material Drive, including a list of participating schools, please call the Marketing Department at 865.588.8567 or visit www.gwiktn.org.

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Goodwill Industries-Knoxville aims to connect job seekers and potential employers at their annual Knoxville Job and Resource Fair on Thursday, May 7th at the 5307 Kingston Pike Goodwill location from 9:00 a.m. to noon as part of National Goodwill Industries Week.

Local business representatives will be on-site and ready to talk about potential employment opportunities. Confirmed businesses include UT Medical Center, Aramark, Chipotle, Marshall’s, Walmart, Cherokee Health Systems, Knoxville Utility Board, City of Knoxville, CVS Caremark and many more. The job fair is free and open to the public and anybody currently seeking employment is encouraged to attend 

The Knoxville Job and Resource Fair is one of many events throughout National Goodwill Industries Week, a nationwide celebration of Goodwill’s successes. Goodwill Industries-Knoxville is hosting events help raise awareness in East Tennessee about their mission to provide job training and rehabilitation services for people with barriers to employment. Other events this week include a Grand Reopening of the Jacksboro Goodwill, a job and resource fair in Morristown, a Beautification Celebration at the Bearden Goodwill and the Straight from the Heart Sack Pack kickoff at Carter Elementary. More information about each event is available at www.gwiktn.org.

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Spring has sprung, and it is time to venture through The District! Now that the sun has started to shine, there is no reason to not get out of the house and do a little shopping. No matter what is on the to-do list for your day, The District has what you need.

It may be warming up here in Knoxville, but are you missing your spring break memories yet? Fleetwood Photo & Digital is there to bring those fun times back to life. Turn your pictures into Christmas cards, calendars or even get them custom framed with the help of the generous employees.

Have you done your spring cleaning yet? M.S. McClellan has just the right choices to re-fill your closet. They have pulled out their spring colors and are in full bloom. From funky and fun to sophisticated and classy, they have just what you are looking for to revamp your wardrobe.

Okay guys, its wedding season! Picking an engagement ring can be nerve-wrecking, but The District has the cure to calm you down. Before heading to Kimball’s Jewelers to pick out the perfect ring for your special someone, stop by Blackhorse Pub & Brewery to drink a cold one. Once you’ve tried one of their satisfying house brews, you’ll be ready to choose the perfect diamond that will forever put a smile on your significant other’s face.

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The Knoxville Montessori School is now enrolling students in its Primary
(pre-K & K) classes for the 2015-2016 school year. To enroll, children must
be 3 by August 15, 2015.

Founded in 1966, KMS is a nonprofit Montessori school with a tradition of
excellence. It is widely known for its nurturing environment, high academic
standards, experienced teaching staff, and diverse student body.

For information about KMS and the admission process, visit the Knoxville Montessori School website.

To arrange a visit, contact KMS at 865-525-6042 or kms<at>knoxvillemontessori.org.

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The Knoxville Symphony League Show House for 2015 opens April 10 and runs through April 26! Stop by 1230 Cherokee Boulevard in Knoxville Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. -4 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. -5 p.m. Single-visit tickets are $15; Season tickets are $25. Check out these sneak peak photos and visit the Knoxville Symphony League website for more information.


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Let’s forget about this cold, dreary weather and start dreaming about upcoming warm, spring days. Here is a list of places that are must-visits in the District during your “70 degree and sunny” wishful thinking.

Begin your day at Sole in the City to find the perfect wedge or sandal to show off while on your spring break vacation. From Sam Edelman and Stuart Weitzman to Cole Haan and Kate Spade, you are destined to find your favorite shoe. Not only are fashionable footwear showcased, but trendy accessories also tend to turn customers’ heads in this boutique. Sole in the City’s owners, Betty Copeland and Debbie Black, will help pick out show-stopping pieces fit just for you.

Bennett Galleries is the next go-to on your day in the District. Here you will find beautiful furnishings and artwork for you home. While you are in the mood for spring, a stop here for a pop of color to add to your home is just what you need. Whether you pick out a new piece of furniture or simply just add a throw pillow to your collection, Bennett Galleries will fulfill your springtime design wants.

Only a few blocks down the road is your final stop. This wine dive, Drink, is the crowning end to your day. Get ready for a night with friends to eat, drink and socialize. On the small plates menu, Jerk Chicken will satisfy your island taste.  Along with your Jamaican eats, a sparkling cocktail, Solerno Tango, will complete the night. Drink has multiple other options to quench the thirst and amuse the palate for your friends who aren’t quite on the same page as you in hoping for sunshine.

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For a quarter of a century, Goodwill Industries-Knoxville, Inc. has collaborated with regional dry cleaning establishments to provide a convenient, accessible option for donating unwanted items to Goodwill through Project Wear and Share. This March, nearly 30 dry cleaners in Knoxville, Oak Ridge, Clinton, Farragut, Maryville, Sevierville, and Morristown are lending a helping hand to help create job opportunities in their communities.


This annual material drive provides community members with the opportunity to donate gently used materials such as clothing and linens to a dry cleaner in their neighborhood. Following a complimentary cleaning service, donated materials will be sold at one of Goodwill Industries-Knoxville, Inc.’s 30 area retail facilities.


Proceeds from the sales of these donations will benefit Goodwill and its efforts to provide vocational training and employment opportunities for individuals with barriers to employment. In 2014, Goodwill Industries-Knoxville served over 4,000 individuals.


Donation boxes for Project Wear and Share are available throughout the month of March. Find more information about Project Wear and Share, including a list of participating dry cleaners, at www.gwiktn.org, or contact the Goodwill Marketing Department at 865.588.8567.

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Starting January 27th through April 15th, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program will be back at the Goodwill located at 5307 Kingston Pike in Knoxville. This free service offers tax preparation to low-to moderate-income families and households who need assistance with their tax returns by certified volunteers.

Volunteers will be present Tuesday through Thursday from 10:00am to 3:00pm and Saturday from 10:00am to 2:30pm.

If you’re interested in VITA assisting you with your taxes, you should bring the following documents with you:

  • Social security card for every person going on the return
  • Photo ID for taxpayer (and spouse, if a joint return)
  • Original paperwork for all income (W-2s, 1099Rs, SSA1099s, etc.)
  • Proof of health insurance – NEW REQUIREMENT
  • (Optional) Information on expenses for deductions
  • (Optional) Last year’s return
  • (Optional) Proof of account for direct deposit

For more information regarding eligibility requirements or materials needed for tax prep, please visit www.irs.gov.

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