In spite of the rain Wednesday, Dealer Greg VonCannon of Rusty Wallace Toyota was in a giving mood.
Thanks to matching grant funds, both The Daily Bread Community Kitchen and the Grainger County Humane Society are both getting $5,000 checks for their endeavors. The dealership is giving $2.500 to each organization with Toyota matching the same amount for a $5,000 total.
Keith McDaniel, president of Grainger County Humane Society, is hitting the ground running after recently being appointed president.
“We are getting $5,000 in matching funds to go toward our fishing tournament,” he said. “Of that money, $1,000 is going to be first place prize money. The rest will pay for signage, T-shirts and sponsorship.”
McDaniel also said that any remaining monies following that will be used for the building fund towards building of a permanent animal shelter in Grainger County.
“We started in 2001,” McDaniel said. “We’re just a group of people that saw a need and we are run 100% volunteer.”
In 2018, the animal shelter took in 567 animals, including 147 dogs, 333 puppies, 26 cats and 61 kittens.
“We provide a safe place to stay, food, vaccines, spay/neuter surgery and basic veterinary and grooming services,” McDaniel said. “Right now we have started a capital gains fund for a building. We have outgrown our foster care system.
“We are a foster based program and work out of people’s homes,” McDaniel said. “We have one person’s home where we have put kennels. That’s our main place. Now it is to the point where we are too big for that. We need to get a building where we can have a proper intake to help control the parvo virus that has gone around.”
“When somebody offers you free money, you give it and figure out how to do the rest of it as you can,” said VonCannon. “We feel so strongly here at Rusty Wallace about culture. We want be the right kind of culture at a dealership. We talk about culture all of the time. Some days we hit the mark really well, others we need to be tightened up a little bit. That’s just the same with any family. We feel like we’re family here. We want to make sure our culture is one that says ‘we understand what people do for us.’ If it weren’t for the people of our community, we wouldn’t have anything. There would be no need to have a Rusty Wallace Toyota.”
The Daily Bread Community Kitchen also received $5,000 from Toyota.
“They have a lot of good people who give of their time to help with that,” VonCannon said. “It’s completely a volunteer organization. If you want somebody to sow a little bit of money into, it’s a good organization to do that.”
“Wow! What an honor to be here! It’s been 25 plus years that The Daily Bread Community Kitchen has been in existence,” said Larry Shropshire, president. “There was a man named Lonnie who dug through the dumpsters to find food to feed himself. He died on the street. My dad (Hobe Williams, founder) purposed in his heart that day that nobody would go hungry, if he could help it, in this town anymore.”
Since then, more than 1.6 million meals have been served through The Daily Bread Community Kitchen, Shropshire said.
“In Morristown, that’s just an amazing thing. I’m just humbled that I’m now the director of that organization,” he said.
Williams, and his wife Sue, took Shropshire in when he was 12.
“Hobe Williams was a man that if he told you something, you could take it to the bank,” Shropshire said. “He wanted me to promise him three things. First, don’t ever stop feeding the hungry. Second, don’t move The Daily Bread. It’s where it needs to be. Last, take care of your momma. We’re going to continue to feed the hungry in Morristown with the community’s help. We have 29 churches who faithfully support us financially and with their time and service. We have a wonderful community. Thank you, Mark, for your contribution. This will buy a lot of meals. ”
“One thing that makes America great is that we all pull together,” VonCannon said. “When you get down to our community, it’s always about people helping people. Please get involved. You can’t out give God.”