Knoxville Lends a Helping Hand to Struggling Women


Hand UP For Women provides women with the skills they need to prosper during trying times

International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on March 8, is a day dedicated to commemorating the political, economic, and social accomplishments of women across the globe. 

According to the UN, this year’s theme is “Inspire Inclusion,” aiming to create a sense of belonging, inclusivity, and empowerment.

Knoxville is home to many female-led businesses and organizations, and one making an impact is Hand UP For Women, a faith-based organization dedicated to helping women who are struggling from a variety of reasons in the region.

The organization was originally founded in 1996 as a response to the increasing number of women struggling with poverty and public assistance at the time. Today, the organization focuses on life-readiness, career management, and spiritual development offering a variety of twice-weekly classes for women on a variety of topics. They even hold a graduation ceremony to celebrate women who have continuously worked hard in the program. 

A cornerstone of the organization is the mentorship program, which allows women to have a more personal, one-on-one learning experience. This provides struggling women with a sense of community, which is essential for success.

“I often tell our participants that to change their lives permanently, they must find a new playground with new playmates,” says Eva Pierce, Executive Director of Hand UP For Women, on their website.

The organization recently held its 22nd annual Hand UP For Women Gala at the Grande Event Center. The gala focused on the accomplishments of the women in the program and allowed recent graduates to share their personal stories and experiences. This Sunday, they will also be holding their 2024 Spring Graduation Ceremony at Cumberland Campus of Wallace Memorial Baptist Church to celebrate five women who have met the requirements to graduate from the program. 

For more information on Hand UP For Women and how you can support, visit

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