KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — People from all across the United States have provided support and kindness to a Knoxville couple who dedicates their weekends to helping the homeless.
Mary Ann and John Bush make and distribute lunch bags to the homeless population every Sunday. They mark each bag with the phrase "Love, Jenny" in honor of Mary Ann's late daughter, who was once homeless herself.
We first introduced you to the pair at the end of August. They wanted to get the word out about their mission. Since the story aired, they have received donations of food, bags, toiletries and money, mostly from strangers.
"The blessings have just piled on us," John smiled.
The couple still spends their Sunday mornings packing bags and driving around town to deliver the gifts. They now make 80 bags at a time. So far, they have distributed 1,620 lunches.
"This is going to be our lifelong mission," Mary Ann explained. "I mean, it's what we do and we're happy doing it and I can't imagine not doing it."
Mary Ann said that even though Jenny is no longer with her, she still talks to her regularly. Making the bags has helped in her grieving process.
"I talk to her all the time," Mary Ann admitted. "I say 'Jenny, look what you have done. Look what you have done here!'"
What they've gotten since then is way more than they bargained for.
"We've been very overwhelmed by everyone's generosity," Mary Ann said.
"And love," John added in.
"Yes, and love of course. It's been wonderful," Mary Ann smiled.
They now have a corporate sponsor, AARP. The organization has donated hand sanitizer, gummy snacks, bags, cookies and crackers.
The couple has received over $1,700 in checks from strangers to support their mission. People from all over the U.S., including Oregon, Michigan and South Carolina have chipped in.
"My phone has rang off the hook with numbers I don't usually answer," John admitted. "But nowadays I do answer."
A business in Knoxville donates all the bread they need every week. Their church donated feminine hygiene products to be distributed too.
They have enough backing and supplies that they don't have to pay out of their own pocket for a while.
"It has helped our friends out there on the street and it's gave us a little more sense of warmth from humanity," John nodded.
They even have shirts and recognition to share the 'love, jenny' mission.
"We took something very sad and tragic and made something wonderful out of it," Mary Ann explained.
Jenny continues to watch over.
Their work is not done. If you would like to donate, reach out to John Bush at 865-591-0495.