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Dear Santa program provides Christmas memories for children in need

KNOXVILLE -- The Helen Ross McNabb Center’s Dear Santa program is pleased to receive a custom Knox County Sheriff’s Office Power Wheel from Knox County Sheriff’s Chief of Administration Lee Tramel.

dear santa program
The Helen Ross McNabb Center’s Dear Santa program receives a custom Knox County Sheriff’s Office Power Wheel from Knox County Sheriff’s Chief of Administration Lee Tramel. Image courtesy of the McNabb Center.

Throughout the month of December, the Dear Santa program will give holiday gifts and resources to clients of the Helen Ross McNabb Center who have little in the way of financial resources and may struggle to provide the basics of food, clothing and shelter to their families. Last year, the Dear Santa program provided holiday gifts to more than 1,500 children and families through wish lists, special sponsored partnerships, toy drive donations and a community elf shopping experience.

“I am honored to contribute to the Dear Santa program and to do some small part of helping a child receive their holiday wish,” said Lee Tramel. “The gifts are much more than presents to open on Christmas morning, they bring a positive holiday experience and an opportunity to create happy memories often associated with Christmas.”

Community volunteers look forward to the tradition of providing something special for the children served by the Dear Santa program each year. Children and families served by the Helen Ross McNabb Center are able to receive needed holiday assistance while receiving vital behavioral health treatment which positively impacts East Tennessee communities.

“Organizations and individuals, like Lee Tramel, help make the Dear Santa program successful and impactful to the children and families we serve,” said Houston Smelcer, Helen Ross McNabb Center vice president of development and government relations. “We are thankful for the many partnerships throughout East Tennessee that help provide special holiday memories for children and families facing mental health, addiction and social challenges.”

The Helen Ross McNabb Center is a premier not-for-profit provider of behavioral health services in East Tennessee. Since 1948, the Center has provided quality and compassionate care to children, adults and families experiencing mental illness, addiction and social challenges. As the Center celebrates nearly 70 years of providing services to communities in East Tennessee, its mission remains clear and simple; “Improving the lives of the people we serve.” For more information, visit

Published November 5, 2017

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