Chris Kittrell

Volunteer Team Award

Mission of Hope

Rather & Kittrell Capital Management

Fidelity Investments

It’s like stepping back in time. People live in run-down shacks with no heat in the winter and no running water,” said Chris Kittrell, describing one of the impoverished areas of Tennessee served by the Mission of Hope.

Mr. Kittrell, a partner, and his 14 colleagues at Rather & Kittrell Inc. in Knoxville, Tennessee, have been volunteering for the charity since 2000.

Twice a year — back-to-school time and Christmastime — the team, their families and clients bring truckloads of supplies, clothing and food to the children and families of Huntsville, Tennessee, 90 minutes north in the Appalachian mountains.

In addition to the deliveries, the Rather & Kittrell team works on fund-raising throughout the year.

Clients have responded enthusiastically, Mr. Kittrell said.

“Many times, we have been blown away by how much the clients want to participate. Even with the Great Recession, people are becoming much more aware and sensitive to charitable giving,” he said.

The need hits close to home.

“This work is something we’re proud of. We’re all from this immediate area, and we feel so fortunate ourselves,” Mr. Kittrell said.

He recalls the responses of the Huntsville children.
“For a moment, these kids can say, ‘Someone cares about me.’”