Stories from KARM Stores on Hall Road (in Alcoa)

As I greeted the donor who stood on the other side of my door, I was face to face with an elderly gentlemen smiling ear to ear. As we walked towards his vehicle, he eagerly announced that he had brought some items to donate. As he began to hand me bags from his van decorated in U.S. Navy stickers, he said he had mostly brought me suits today. For a gentleman his age that was nothing out of the ordinary. A pastor or evangelist I thought to myself. But, it was what he said next that truly caught my attention. “I don’t need these anymore,” he said. I’m sure my face looked puzzled as I was expecting him to say they no longer fit. “I’m getting ready to meet my Lord soon and he doesn’t mind what I wear.”

What profound truth in the one small sentence? He never dimmed his thousand watt smile not even for a second. He had spent a lifetime serving our country, serving God, and in his own way that day he served me.

I thanked him and encouraged him that what he donated would help serve several meals at our mission or even possibly be a blessing to someone who needed something “suitable” for a very important job interview.

Sometimes its so easy to get caught up in life, or in your work that we forget how fleeting this all really is. I’m humbled that God would allow moments for me to pour into peoples lives and share with them how special each and every donation is to us. But how amazing that every now in then God sends someone to refocus OUR perspective. I was touched to receive that gentleman donation and I look forward to seeing him again someday.

Leslie R
Processing Team

When I applied for a position with KARM Stores, I was so excited about the possibility of getting to be a part of such a phenomenal organization. At the time, I was a stay at home foster parent, simply because it is so hard to find a work place that would allow me to work and meet my family’s needs.

I also sit on the board committee with Blount County Foster Parent Association. In the fall, while newly employed with KARM Stores, I began working on Christmas for our foster families. Our goal is for every child in foster care to have a gift to open at Christmas time. I was told to expect at least 400 children in need of gifts plus a Christmas party to celebrate with all the children.

In remembering my own foster placements, I recalled these children clinging to stuffed animals given them by DCS workers to help cope with being removed from their family. Even years later, my children still have them and are cherished. My thought, what if their siblings could give each other a stuffed animal for a gift?!

Amazingly, as if by plan, a huge amount of stuffed animals was left at our store. Every homeless KARM Stores stuffed animal received a home and a child that loved it by the end of the Christmas party. Ultimately, 600 children received a gift and a stuffed animal.

I have been so blessed and honored to work with an amazing KARM Stores team and will continue to do God’s work in our community.

Nina A
Retail Team

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