ChariTrees at McGhee Tyson Airport

Trees of inspiration, also known as ChariTrees, decorate McGhee Tyson Airport during the holiday season. Each tree represents an organization whose selfless acts of charity help those in need. They serve as a reminder that you can make a difference in the lives of so many. Either through volunteerism or by offering a donation, you can make this holiday season a special one for those who receive assistance from these charities. Be inspirational this holiday season!

See below to learn more about the organizations represented in ChariTrees:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee

Be a part of something big.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee creates and professionally supports one-to-one mentoring relationships, sharing the critical skills needed to help build resilience and promote the social and emotional well-being of hundreds of children across East Tennessee. Our Vision is that all children achieves their full potential.

Mentoring works, and the research demonstrates that our evidenced based programs at Big Brothers Big Sisters, have the following outcomes:

  • 97% avoid risky behavior
  • 94% achieve socio-emotional competencies
  • 88% achieve educational success

When you support Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee, you directly impact the futures of
young people in our community.

Please visit to learn more about this wonderful organization and its amazing works.

Blue & Gold Star Mothers

The blue and gold star banner tradition began in WWI when white Service Flags bordered in
red were displayed from homes, business, schools, and churches to indicate, by the use of a blue star, each active service member in the U.S. Military. A gold star indicated those who had given their lives for their country. This tradition has continued through World War II, the Korean War and up and through the present day.

Support our troops and their families.

Boys and Girls Club of Blount County

The Boys & Girls Club of Blount County began providing services to children in our
community in 1958. They now serve nearly 700 youth annually at their Blount County Club. They offer programs that increase academic success, encourage healthy lifestyles, and develop good character and citizenship.

The Boys & Girls Club of Blount County’s mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need them most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

Please visit to learn more about this wonderful organization and its amazing works.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library – Maryville Kiwanis Club

Imagine the joy of a young child receiving a free book in the mail every month!  Imagination Library is a program in which every enrolled child receives a high-quality, age-appropriate book delivered to the child’s home every month from birth to age five, regardless of income.

The vision of Imagination Library is to foster a love of reading among preschool children and their families, to create excitement about books, and to feel the magic that books can create.

Since Maryville Kiwanis began sponsoring Imagination Library in 2005, over
750,000 boo750,000 books have been mailed to children in Blount County. Currently 5,100 children are enrolled in the program.

Maryville Kiwanis Club is dedicated to changing the world, one child and
one community at a time. Imagination Library changes the life of every child who receives books.

Please visit to learn more about this wonderful organization and its amazing works.

Junior Achievement of East Tennessee

Junior Achievement’s purpose is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

The ornaments on this tree are a way to support our programing directly – select the ornament that you want and scan the QR code on the tag to make your donation of $24! Give the ornament to someone or keep it for yourself – either way, you can feel good about giving the gift of Junior Achievement this year!

Ornaments provide the gift of a hands – on JA program to a local East Tennessee student by:

  • Planting the seed of financial knowledge.
  • Investing in start-up funding for a student-run company
  • Providing an opportunity for a young lady to attend the JA Miss Business Experience.
  • Sponsoring a JA BizTown Experience.

Fun Fact: Junior Achievement has been around for over 100 years and serving students in East Tennessee for over 50 years!

Please visit to learn more about this wonderful organization and its amazing works.

Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee

Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee is leading the community in the fight to end hunger; operating programs in 18 counties.

The Food for Kids program provides supplemental and nutritious food
on the weekends for 12,600+ school children at 280 schools. $1 donated provides 3 meals to someone at risk of hunger.

Please visit to learn more about this wonderful organization and its amazing works.

STAR – Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding

Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation, founded in 1987.  STAR’s mission is to foster personal achievement by providing therapeutic experiences using horse related activities for persons with disabilities or other
special challenges.  STAR is the oldest therapeutic riding program in Tennessee and the first to achieve premier accreditation from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, (PATH Intl.).  They serve individuals from 11 counties in East
Tennessee averaging 160+ participants per week ages 4 to 60+.  They have 13 PATH Intl. certified instructors, over 400 volunteers and 36 horses and ponies at two locations and 36 horses and ponies at two locations.

STAR assists persons in our community through four programs:

  • Therapeutic Riding – for children and adults with various disabilities learning riding skills
  • Heroes & Horses – serving Veterans with physical or emotional challenges
  • Changing STRIDES – focuses on youth considered at-risk or persons dealing with life trial
  • Minis In Motion – taking mini horses and donkeys into Alzheimer’s units of local assisted living centers

It takes a significant amount of funding to maintain and expand STAR’s programs to meet the continuing needs of the community. STAR exists as an organization because of the personal commitment of many wonderful people.

Please visit to learn more about this wonderful organization and its amazing works.

The Dream Connection

The Dream Connection is a non-profit organization that fulfills the special dreams of children ages 3-18 who are faced with life threatening or chronically debilitating illnesses in the East Tennessee area. Around 35 dreams are fulfilled per year through the support of individuals, businesses, and civic organizations. Dream Connection is the only local all-volunteer wish-granting organization with 100% of donations going to children’s dreams.

Please visit to learn more about this wonderful organization and its amazing works.

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