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How you can help students, community in East Knoxville

There are many groups and programs already working in the community with opportunities for you to donate your time and money after the recent gun violence.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — In the aftermath of the recent gun violence in the community around Austin-East Magnet High School, many are wondering how they can help East Knoxville.

There are many groups and programs already working in the community with opportunities for you to donate your time and money.  

While the issues won't go away overnight, there are ways you can support the students and East Knoxville right now.

What you can do

  • Support the groups already present in the community
  • Donate your money
  • Donate your time through volunteering or mentorship
  • Look beyond your neighborhood and build relationships across the city
  • Listen to their experiences
  • Contact local leaders
  • Fight the spread of misinformation online


Safe Haven Empowerment House

A Knoxville community group founded by a life-long East Knoxville resident focused on building young people up to prevent violence across the city.

For more information, call 865-334-4806.

RELATED: Community group focuses on violence interruption, stopping gun violence before it starts

Girl Talk, Inc

An organization that empowers girls to become their best selves by reducing the likelihood of teen pregnancy and helping them to advance educationally through one-on-one mentorship and the Life Prep Academy program.

You can donate, sign up to volunteer or become a mentor on the Girl Talk website.

100 Black Men

The Knoxville 100 are adult male role models who focus on improving the lives of at-risk youth through mentoring, health & wellness, education and economic development.

You can donate or become a mentor on the 100 Black Men of Knoxville website.

Real Talk

A mentorship program started at Knoxville's Vine Middle School that now serves students at 11 area schools through the concept of RAISE (reignite their ambition while increasing self-empowerment).

You can donate or sign up as a volunteer on the Real Talk website.

UUNIK Academy

A nonprofit organization with educational programs designed to invest resources and the highest-level education into the next generation, increase their ability and their confidence to compete in the American economy as responsible adults and inspire them to raise their sights towards the careers of the future.

Reggie Jenkins, the Executive Director, told 10News he was heartbroken to hear about the shooting at Austin East.

“It’s just devastating because it’s like…not another thing,” he said.

That’s why Jenkins said he uses his time and organization to mentor kids, even before they become teenagers, so hopefully, future tragedies involving children won’t happen.

“My purpose is to focus on the younger ones. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” he said.

You can donate, help fundraise, contribute to their wishlist or sign up to volunteer on the UUNIK Academy website


Youth Outreach in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) is a national nonprofit organization aimed at empowering underserved students through hands-on STEM experiences and exploring the vast range of what STEM careers have to offer.

You can donate on the Yo-STEM website.

East Tennessee Freedom Schools

The Children’s Defense Fund’s (CDF) Freedom Schools® program is a six-week long summer enrichment program with three hours of reading per day to help young students combat summer learning loss and find a love of reading.

You can donate on the East Tennessee Freedom Schools website.


Socially Equal Energy Efficient Development creates pathways out of poverty for young adults and promotes positive community development through career readiness training, environmental education and community engagement.

You can donate or apply on the SEEED Knox website.

Beck Cultural Exchange Center

The Beck Cultural Exchange Center in Knoxville preserves, nurture, and teach African American history. The non-profit said their vision is to be the desired place to go learn, discover, and experience the rich legacy of African Americans inside a vibrant cultural corridor, the Beck Cultural Corridor.

President Renee Kesler said the Beck Cultural Exchange Center holds different educational opportunities for youth all across the city. Kesler said the shooting at Austin East was devastating for her.

“We’re in the heart of the community so when our community hurts, we all hurt,” she said.

On Friday, April 16, the center is hosting a virtual town hall featuring several Austin-East alumni. It’s a free event and all are welcome to attend by clicking the link on their website.

“These are the kinds of voices that we need to hear at this moment with wisdom and knowledge, those who have matriculated through that school system,” said Kesler.

You can also help support their mission by signing up for their newsletter, attending virtual events, and donate.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee

A national program that provides one-on-one mentorship through pairing a "Big" with a "Little" to them succeed and live to their full potential.

You can donate or become a "Big" on the Big Brothers Big Sister of East Tennessee website.

RELATED: Live A Little: Meet Beal and Leonard

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley

A chapter of the national organization that enables young people to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens through focuses on academic success, healthy lifestyles and character building.

You can donate or volunteer on the Boys & Girls Club of the Tennessee Valley website.

YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley

The YWCA Knoxville and the Tennessee Valley offers an after-school program with a full-time staff member dedicated to supporting youth who have experienced trauma, such as the Austin East High School shooting.

They also offer victim advocacy programs to service clients of all backgrounds, including housing for women and their families as well as student support programs. They also offer anti-racism programs.

Anyone who wants to support them can donate online, and select a specific campaign to support with their gift.



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