Teens give water to Knoxville homeless

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A group of kids in East Tennessee wanted to make sure the homeless stay hydrated Tuesday amidst the recent hot weather.

Teens were busy passing out cup after cup of water to people along Broadway in downtown Knoxville.

“We can do the smallest act and it can make a big difference,” said West High School senior Griffin Hamstead.

Hamstead is one of about 65 teens from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Knoxville serving this week through Win Our World, or WOW mission group. The “Water Wagon” is one way the teens help the community.

“It gives them an opportunity to see things they don’t really get to see at home,” said program director Liza Hawkins.

Teens were busy passing out cup after cup of water to people along Broadway in downtown Knoxville.
Teens were busy passing out cup after cup of water to people along Broadway in downtown Knoxville.

“I’d never seen people like that, so seeing their faces when we came up to them and offered them water was such a life changing moment,” said Jessica Ervin of South Carolina.

They say they’ll remember those moments as both gratifying and humbling.

“The coolest experiences are the ones you don’t expect. When you hand a neighbor a cup of water and they want to pray with you,” added Hamstead.

While passing out each scoop of water, it’s scripture that’s being recalled.

“Parable of the mustard seed, which is that something as small as the mustard seed with the right nutrients and the right care can grow into something wonderful,” said Hamstead.

“That’s exactly what Jesus would do. ‘As you did to the least of these.’ Sometimes we do it to the least of these, sometimes we do it to the most,” said Hawkins.

WOW has been doing this mission work for the last 12 years and Hawkins says the only thing that’s changed is the physical wagon which carries the water.

WOW will visit a number of locations in Knoxville during their stay. Teens do a variety of work at missions like KARM, Salvation Army and Volunteer Ministry Center to name a few. Teens do things like picking up trash, sorting donated clothes and playing music while people wait in line for meals.

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