Brenda Callis, Liz Reese, Ethan, Brooklyn, Ms. Christy, and Ms. Nicole stand in front of the new van that was bought for Brooks House with donations from local individuals, businesses and foundations.
BEN DUDLEY/ The Wilson PostBy BEN DUDLEYThe Wilson Post
The Brooks House has helped many people in the Lebanon community and the community has decided to give a little back to them.
A new 15 passenger van was purchased for the Brooks House and was paid in full by donations from local individuals, businesses and foundations.
“My husband and I met some of the ladies one night at Painturos,” said Brenda Callis, one of the 13 members on the Brooks House board, “and they pulled up in this old, rickety van with slick tires, a loose steering column, and over 200,000 miles. I made it my mission to get them a new van.”
That was two months ago and this week, Callis received the last of her donations and presented the van to Liz Reese, director of Brooks House and treasurer of the Upper Cumberland Continuum of Care.
“We are so glad to be in the new wagon,” Reese said. “It’s a safer ride. It has heat and air and a radio that we can sing along with while we ride. We take it to church and other functions.”
The old van was donated by Immanuel Baptist Church and has been recently been bought. Reese said on Thursday that they used the van that morning to drive some of the ladies to counseling in Mt. Juliet.
“We’re not ashamed to be seen on the road anymore,” Reese said. “We might even wave to folks now.”
Reese has been the director of Brooks House since it started in 2006. The idea began when she and others were helping house families displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
“This is not a job,” Reese said. “It’s a ministry. I work 24/7 and I love it. When you grow up in a community, you want to give back to it. That has been etched in my heart.”
Those who donated money are Ken and Mallory Howell, Ken and June Clinard, W. P. Bone, Fran and Alexa Moscardelli, Brenda and Eddie Callis, Greg Dugdale, THW Insurance Services, Inc., Rochelle, McCullough & Aulds, Jody Aulds, Carolyn Dudley, Linda White, First Tennessee Bank, Bill and June Heydel, Dave Gordon, Lee and Tammy Hopper, Cherie Scharping, Bill and Joan Bryson, Brownie and Diane Vantrease.
Dempsey, Vantrease, Follis PLLC, Bob and Lucy Lee, First United Methodist Church, Jimmie and Ann Harper, Kraft CPAs, Performance Food Group, First Freedom Bank, Lois Ann Wauford, Mr. and Mrs. Ronnie Marks, Tom Callis, Stratton Bone, Faye Dedman, Patsy H. Stairs, Cedarstone Bank, Lochinvar, Cracker Barrel Foundation, MTEMC Customers Care Foundation, and Gloria Griffith.
Staff Writer Ben Dudley may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.