Charitable Contributions Assist Needy, Homeless in East Tennessee Communities
Villa Collina estate owner Dr. Eric W. Barton donated items valued at $113,333 in spring 2018 to East Tennessee nonprofit organizations in an effort to help less fortunate residents of Blount and Knox counties.
Barton donated countless household items, including furniture, appliances, lighting, office supplies, decorations and more to Blount County Habitat for Humanity and Knox Area Rescue Ministries (KARM), which in turn sold the merchandise to fund their ongoing charitable operations. Both organizations expressed how the donations will make lasting impacts on their operations. Many of the items were once part of the Villa Collina estate, including several antique couches from Dubai and an elegant marble desk.
“I am so thrilled that my donation will help these wonderful organizations. Their help will make a lasting impact for generations upon generations,” said Barton, president and CEO of Vanquish Worldwide.
Knox Area Rescue Ministries
For KARM, the nearly donation will go a long way in helping the area’s needy.
“Revenue generated from the sale of Eric’s donated items will be used to support the ongoing work of Knox Area Rescue Ministries. KARM offers meals, shelter and residential recovery services in addition to employment and educational assistance, counseling services and rehabilitation program. We do not receive direct federal or state funding, so individual donations are paramount,” a KARM representative said.
KARM provides daily for the needy and homeless in the East Tennessee region, first supplying rescue services of food and shelter, then healthy, supportive relationships, and ultimately restoration, including job-training opportunities, counseling services and rehabilitation programs.
According to KARM’s website, there are approximately 1,700 homeless persons in East Tennessee in any given month.
Blount County Habitat for Humanity
Barton also made a donation to the Blount County Habitat for Humanity ReStore. His donations included antique furniture, various parts for lighting, appliances and various holiday and home décor items. All proceeds from sales at the Habitat ReStore help fund new construction, housing rehabs and housing repairs in Blount County.
“Without community donations, we would not be able to help low-income individuals and families achieve the American dream of home ownership,” Blount County Habitat for Humanity Executive Director Kathy Jackson said. “Proceeds from the items Eric donated to the ReStore will be used to help build decent and affordable homes for families in Blount County.”
Habitat for Humanity, a global nonprofit housing organization working in local communities across all 50 states in the U.S. and in approximately 70 countries, continuously works toward its vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity global operations has helped build, renovate and repair more than 600,000 decent, affordable houses, sheltering more than 3 million people worldwide, according to the organization’s website. Locally, Blount County Habitat for Humanity has been helping the community address affordable housing since 1992, and has constructed over 150 homes.
The donation day, held Saturday, April 21, 2018, included an employee appreciation day for Vanquish Worldwide and sister companies. Employees were given the opportunity to find great deals on household furniture, appliances and more, while also enjoying an employee cookout complete with hot dogs, hamburgers and plenty of dessert.
“This fun-filled day was full of camaraderie and good memories,” Eric said.
Accounting manager April Myers purchased a University of Tennessee bedroom furniture set for her toddler son, who she said was more than thrilled to have a “big boy” bed full of spaces for him to play with his toys.
“The Tennessee décor was perfect for us since we are big Tennessee fans and my son loves sports. The day we set up his BIG boy bed he was ecstatic about it,” Myers said. “He started playing in the ‘hidden compartments’ with his toys and kept saying he’s going to his secret hideouts. We are so thankful for the deal that Eric gave us on this bedroom set, we basically paid little to nothing for it.”
Human Resources assistant Jenny Poole found the perfect addition to her home decorations – a rustic table with bear accents – to accompany her bear theme.
“I purchased the bear table and love it. My house is done in a bear theme and this table makes my living room. I would never be able to afford a table like this, so I feel I got the deal of a lifetime!” Poole said.
Vanquish Worldwide regularly supports many local nonprofit organizations, including Smoky Mountain Service Dogs, Foothills Land Conservancy and local United Way organizations and veteran organizations in addition to educational efforts, such as endowments providing scholarships for employees, Marines and others.