Woman makes and delivers hundreds of sandwiches to the homeless in Chattanooga


The homeless community in Chattanooga is facing new challenges. Tent city was recently dismantled due to the city’s concerns of land contamination. Chattanooga City Council is also discussing a new ordinance that would make it illegal to panhandle in certain locations. (Image: Veda Waddell)

The homeless community in Chattanooga is facing new challenges.

Tent city was recently dismantled due to the city’s concerns of land contamination.

Chattanooga City Council is also discussing a new ordinance that would make it illegal to panhandle in certain locations across the city.

However, a woman from Ooltewah is ramping up her efforts to feed the folks with no place to go.

In this week’s Pay It Forward, Jessica Harthorn surprises the founder of “Handful of Purpose.”

Each week Denise Lee makes a trip to downtown Chattanooga.

She provides protein packed lunches, clothing, toiletries and Bibles, giving a new definition to the term “tailgating.”

We were there, as her friend surprised her at home, as she was preparing sandwiches for dozens of hungry people.

It was peanut butter jelly time at this home in ooltewah.

More than 100 sandwiches were being packed, as Veda Waddell was getting ready for her surprise attack.

“I have a little surprise for you. On behalf of Newschannel 9 and the McMahan Law Firm, I want to Pay It Forward to you,” said Veda.

“Are you kidding me?” said Denise.

“For all the love that you give to the homeless every day of your life. You’re such a blessing. Hold out your hand. We have $100, $200, 3, 4, $500,” surprised Veda.

“Thank you so much, I love you! This is awesome. This will feed a lot of people,” said Denise.

Denise Lee soon gathered together what she calls, her “sisters from God,” and started an assembly sandwich line.

As the jelly was being spread, Denise revealed how she smothers others with news of God’s love.

“There is no one too dirty to hug, everybody deserves a hug,” explained Denise.

In a matter of minutes, the box was packed, the dirty spoon left behind, and Denise and Veda carried out the protein package to her SUV, the trunk already packed with provisions for the homeless.

An hour later, Veda captures Denise handing out food on the streets of Downtown Chattanooga.

“Do you want a sandwich sir?” asks Denise.

“You can’t keep from crying when you go with her and see the ministry she has,” said Veda.

Denise says she hopes her ministry will send a message to others.

“Never judge and have compassion for the less fortunate,” said Denise.

Do you know someone who deserves $500 cash for helping others in need? Nominate them here.



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Category: News