Founders of Love Kitchen share service philosophy with national audience

"God sent two of us because The Love Kitchen is so much work so He would have two working in it. Helen and I have always been the best of friends," Ellen Turner said.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The founders of the Love Kitchen, sisters Helen Ashe and Ellen Turner, have been running the charity that feeds the homeless, elderly, disabled, and homebound in East Knoxville for more than 20 years.

While they are well known and loved in Knoxville, they traveled on February 3 to meet Oprah Winfrey and bring their message of helping the community to the nation.

For their appearance, the women were asked to wear what they would at The Love Kitchen. They donned their logo shirts that read “Everybody is God’s Somebody” as well as their aprons.

It’s a perfect fit for the women who are also community service partners and best friends.

“God sent two of us because The Love Kitchen is so much work so He would have two working in it. Helen and I have always been the best of friends,” Ellen said.

Helen and Ellen say they hope to spread the message of The Love Kitchen and a little bit about who they are.

“The three truths that Daddy taught us, number one he taught us there is but one Father and that’s our heavenly Father. Number two, he taught us there is but one race, that’s the human race. And number three he taught us not to take the last piece of bread from the table because somebody may come by that’s hungry. So that’s The Love Kitchen! Isn’t that wonderful?” Helen shared.

The sisters were a bit concerned about Chicago’s road conditions just days after a major blizzard. They decided to forgo sightseeing and enjoy the views from their hotel room on the 42nd floor of the Four Seasons.

With their energy preserved, it was a slow and steady trip to the doors of Harpo Studios.

The Oprah Winfrey Show doesn’t allow affiliates like 6 News to film behind the scenes of its show. In fact, those who make it in to see the show have to turn in their cameras and cell phones because Oprah runs a tight ship.

It’s certain that once the world meets Helen and Ellen, everyone’s smart phones will be buzzing with The Love Kitchen’s good deeds.

Chicago might have its Magnificent Mile and breathtaking skyline, but Knoxville has Helen Ashe and Ellen Turner.

“I had a dream. God gave me this ministry in a dream and Ellen and I have been going every since. And when we took retirement, I prayed to the Lord if it’s His will when He gets ready to call me home, call me while I am on my feet,” Helen said.

The sisters also talked with Oprah about The Love Kitchen’s feature on an upcoming episode of the new ABC series “Secret Millionaire.”

The secret millionaire helps find the most deserving people in the community where he or she goes undercover. The Love Kitchen received a portion of a $100,000 check for its efforts.

The Oprah Show with The Love Kitchen sisters has been moved to Thursday, February 17 at 4:00 on WATE-TV 6.

The episode of “Secret Millionaire” they were featured on will air Sunday, March 6 at 8:00, also on WATE-TV 6.

Knoxville City Council will honor the Love Kitchen’s 25th anniversary with a special resolution Tuesday night.

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