Life Management | Career Readiness | Spiritual Development

Do you feel completely lost and hopeless? You’ve come to the right place.

At Hand Up For Women we offer a hand UP to women who want to live a self-sufficient, abundant life free of loneliness and fear. We understand you have been through things many of us can only imagine. We believe you were created for MORE and deserve to live the abundant life God has planned for you. We’ve helped hundreds of women like you become self-sufficient, successful and full of hope.

Here’s how:

  1. Make the decision that you want to change your life for the better
  2. Work with us to create a personalized plan to achieve your life goals
  3. Meet the supportive family of women who will walk alongside you
  4. Begin classes. You’re on your way to abundant living!

Are you ready to take the first step toward a changed life?

Complete the online application or call 865-525-9696 or email [email protected] to receive one in the mail. Once we receive your application, we’ll contact you to set up an interview.

Complete the Online Application

Our volunteer instructors are the backbone of our program. They teach a variety of subjects from professional development to how to change a tire.


Every woman in our program is matched with a trained mentor to serve as her personal support and encouragement source.


We love celebrating! Throughout the year, we’ll celebrate holidays, birthdays and graduation, but mostly the achievement of our ladies.


Finding Friendships That Last a Lifetime

Friendship is often referred to as the backbone of life. Unlike family, you can choose your friends. At Hand UP for Women friendship is at the forefront of the ministry. Before Karla Johnson applied to be a program participant, she met Alisha Vasquez through Knox Recovery Court. The two befriended one another and Alisha shared she was a participant in the Hand UP for Women program. “She completely changed her life, and I wanted what she had,” Johnson said, “I wanted to be able to live again and have a group of women show me how to do that.” Karla recalls Alisha always got good reports from Hand UP for Women and chose to follow in her footsteps. A Murky [...]

Earning Freedom Back

July is a month we’re reminded of our freedoms. To live in the United States of America is a blessing for many people, including Krystal Brown. Though she’s faced challenges, the Hand UP for Women graduate knows the importance of having rights and exercising them, including voting. “Your vote does matter,” Brown said. She works for the City of Knoxville; Mayor Indya Kincannon is her boss. Brown finds herself keeping up with current events more because of her work. Brown often works overtime helping with special events where she learns more about political happenings in Knoxville. “I feel like I’m a productive member of my community when I have more knowledge about what’s going on. I am grateful to live [...]

Hand UP for Women Gala to Reflect on 20 Years of Transformation from a Servant’s Heart

In preparing for this year’s gala, Executive Director Eva Piece reflects on the women whose lives have been transformed. There are at least 100 ladies whom she feels have “profoundly changed,” because of the Christian-based program. It’s these Christian principles that guide women in becoming self-sufficient and financially independent regardless of socioeconomic status. Pierce shared, “The most important thing we’ve accomplished is that showing what we do, works.” Program mentors have deep conversations with these ladies to talk about the hard realities and unexpected conflicts life throws at them, but this work only scratches the surface of their mission. It takes a year for a participant to complete classes in character, financial literacy, career readiness and life management. And the [...]

Mel’s Story

When Mel came to interview as a prospective participant for HUFW, she said, “I know ya’ll are scared of me.” Apparently, she had grown accustomed to people being intimidated by her partially-shaved head, numerous facial and ear piercings, and abundant tattoos. She was dressed in clothing that reflected her long history as part of a motorcycle gang, with some patches on her jacket containing profanity. But what was most obvious was that Mel was a woman in immense pain. She had seen way too much violence and death, and she was longing for people to receive her with love, not fear. That’s what she found at HUFW. The true irony was how Mel came to know about the program. Her [...]

Crystal’s Story

Crystal can’t remember a day growing up in Johnson City that didn’t include drugs. Drug abuse, drug sales, drug crime…that was what her parents’ lives revolved around. Both her parents were addicts, so Crystal and her siblings followed suit. By the time she was 12, her parents had divorced. Crystal had wrecked a car while driving drunk, and was selling drugs herself, so she ended up in the custody of the juvenile justice system. At the age of 17, she was involved in a serious car accident and her mother told her to apply for disability. She’d never have to work, she said.At the age of 20, she moved to North Carolina “for a new start,” but selling drugs just [...]

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Volunteer Opportunities

Every woman in our program is matched with a trained mentor to serve as her personal support, accountability and encouragement source. Mentors attend a one-day training on a Saturday then, once matched, they meet with their participant once a week. Written covenants are used to outline the boundaries of these relationships.

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN TRAINING TO BECOME A MENTOR, PLEASE CONTACT KAREN MILLS AT [email protected]!!   To get started please complete the online mentoring application or contact us.

Every Tuesday and Thursday, before class, groups and/or individuals provide a meal for the ladies. This is invaluable for the ladies and instructors that come straight from work. This is also a wonderful time of getting to know each other and just decompressing after a busy day. Some meal providers sign up for the entire year’s classes and are scheduled for the same night each month. Others prefer to just provide one or two meals a year.

There are openings in the meal schedule for the 2023-2024 class year.  Contact Kim Davis at [email protected] for openings if you would like to provide a meal.

Several times throughout the year, we will have celebrations for our ladies when they graduate, meet a goal, or for a holiday. Special treats and prizes are always needed for those celebrations. We also have a yearly fundraising gala that utilizes sponsors and table hosts to make it a success.

ANNOUNCEMENT!! One of our wonderful volunteers have agreed to take over the collecting of prayer concerns from all the folks and friends of Hand UP For Women and doing some follow-up on those prayer concerns. If you have prayer requests, let us know. If you are part of a prayer team or maybe there is one at your church and would like to receive a weekly prayer list from Hand UP, please email Karen your contact information and she will pass it along to our leaders. ([email protected])

Our volunteer instructors are the backbone of our program. We are occasionally looking for new and additional instructors in all subject areas. The night classes are on Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. In the event that we begin daytime classes we will need instructors that are available during morning hours on Monday and Wednesday as well as new topics that would be helpful..