The Blount County Democratic Party and its executive committee donated $500 to the recently formed Blount Community Credit Union.
Party officials said an overwhelming response to the recent luncheon honoring Justice D. Kelly Thomas, Jr., resulted in the party collecting a surplus of funds in the amount of $500, which they decided to donate to the new community credit union.
At the ceremony, Scott Davis, credit union vice chairman, said that the institution will be geared toward helping low income and ethnically diverse people of Blount County.
Chairman Luther McKinney said there are 10,000 people in Blount County under poverty level who dont have a banking relationship with any institution. Often these individuals are taken advantage of by businesses that charge 300 to 400 percent for their services. The credit union will hold classes and workshops to help individuals learn how to save and manage their finances.
"We want to build a financial mindset, to help them develop into individuals who do what they need (in order) to be financially independent," said McKinney.
McKinney said they are considering opening up in the Alcoa City Center. McKinney is a professor with Maryville College, and
Davis has been in the banking business for more than 25 years.
During the Tuesday afternoon press conference, former Democratic
mayoral candidate Joe Gallagher donated the surplus
from his campaign to the Blount County Food Connection. Gallagher donated $310.27. John Smith with the Food
Connection accepted the check.
Smith said there are about 105 volunteers who work with Blount County Food Connection at 1402 East Broadway Avenue in Maryville. "We receive donations, buy food or collect (donated) food and then give it back to the needy," he said.
The Blount County Food Connection is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.