The employees and management at the Texas Roadhouse in Alcoa brought the spirit of Christmas to youngsters and adults served by the Blount County Children’s Home this holiday season.
Steve Best, managing partner with Texas Roadhouse in Alcoa, said he and his staff always try to do something special for the community during the holidays.
“Being from this area I knew about the Children’s Home. We gave them a call and asked what they needed. They had 23 children and two homeless gentlemen who were not going to be able to have Christmas,” Best said. “They put together a list of what the kids liked and the sizes of clothing for the two homeless gentlemen.”
Best said the employees at the store adopted the children and bought gifts on their own for them. “It was pretty incredible. We also adopted the two gentlemen and took care of the guys and what they needed. The store also raised enough money to buy whole list of supplies needed for the facility, including an air hockey table,” he said. “We had three SUVs full of gifts for children and the center.”
Best said the restaurant had a couple vendors who donated plates and dishes and kitchen supplies for the facility. “On the Saturday before we went, we added decorations to our float in the Jaycees Christmas Parade, announcing that we were going to donate 10 percent of sales from that day to the Children’s Home,” Best said.
The managing partner said the employees presented the Children’s Home with a check for $1,500. “It was a good thing. We’re going to partner with them in future. We like to give back to the community. We’re appreciative to people of Blount County and what they give to us, and we wanted to give back. I’m extra proud of our staff,” he said.
Best said his employees orchestrated the gift-giving for the children in a different way. “The gifts weren’t given from Texas Roadhouse. We gave the gifts to the parents so they would be able to give gifts to their children,” he said.
Best said it was a heart-warming moment when they took the gifts to the home. “We’re just glad we could help. The biggest thing I heard from my staff was how good it was to help,” he said. “People don’t realize there is this kind of need in Blount County.”
Among the services the Blount County Children’s Home provides is Gardner Place, a supervised visitation facility, and Crossroads, a temporary home for homeless young men where they can learn the skills necessary to become independent.
Board member John Huffman said they were especially grateful for the help given Crossroads, a facility that opened in November. “We really appreciate the community support of a new program which will benefit young men in our community who need a helping hand and have a desire to better themselves,” he said.
Board member Johnny Weston said the restaurant embraced the Children’s Home. “They provided Gardner Place with several toys for the children and provided support for Crossroads,” he said. “I was totally amazed. That was a big help to us in a tough time.”