When Rachel Ritter and Rachel Lawson, also known as The Rachels, stood looking over 300+ trash bags full of clothes in 2018, they had no idea what the year would bring. At the time, SMILE was serving about 4 children per month. Ideas were endless and donations overwhelming; they agreed if they weren’t serving 22 children a month by July, this effort may not be worth all the volunteer hours and coordination. February 2018 saw SMILE serve over 30 children…and it hasn’t slowed down since. In fact, SMILE served 334 children in 2018.
We’ve been incredibly blessed by our generous community: donations, both monetary and items, keep pouring in. We can always count on our donors to help us when we need specific items. Because of this amazing support, SMILE is on track to TRIPLE our 2018 numbers for children served.
Our mission is to support foster families caring for children in foster care, assist kinship foster families, and directly provide for children in foster care as they transition into foster homes. We fulfill our mission by providing for immediate needs with the help of donations, both monetary and physical items, given by our local community. SMILE uses direct, practical, and impactful kindness to provide for the foster care community in Northeast Tennessee.