How does a small school like Frakes Elementary get connected with a church in Knoxville for a big Christmas party? Jimmy Hodge who is involved in Mens Ministry in Knoxville, and who also happens to have a big heart for Appalachia is connecting factor. Hodge brought a friend, Chris Brashear, with him to visit Henderson Settlement a couple of years ago. Brashear decided to walk over and visit Frakes School while at the Settlement, and the contact was made.
Riverdale Church then united with Holston Baptist and together they have hosted a Christmas party for Frakes students for the past two years. However this year, Riverdale decided to get everyone involved in their church by uniting with a common goal -Christmas for Frakes students. Corresponding with Sandy Hickman (secretary/finance at Frakes Elementary) and Linda Partin (Frakes Family Resource Center) via e-mail, Chris Brashear's wife, Pam, began the process of organizing such a huge task. Groups were organized for shopping, wrapping and for snacks and treat bags.
When they came to the school, the students were amazed that a church from Knoxville would bring such a wonderful party to Frakes. Each student was given a very nice gift, a toboggan (some were handmade), a snack, a treat bag, and new testaments were also available. The teachers were given two huge boxes stocked with school supplies, treat bags and snacks. Jimmy Hodge helped by contributing pencils, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and the crochet toboggans. Wow! There were many smiles, hugs, and laughter from everyone involved.
“There is no distance when love is shared through the hearts of others,” said Linda Partin, “Isn't that what Christmas is all about?”