Grassroots effort to help those in need

Late last year, Middlesboro resident and professional DJ John Day has spearheaded a mission to help those in need in the community. The organization is called Community Care Outreach — and since its inception, it has grown tremendously. The organization’s latest accomplishment was feeding close to 100 people at Yellow Creek Baptist Church on Feb. 27.

Day cited a particular incident that got him motivated to do something.

One night while he was driving back from a gig, Day noticed something that spurned him into action.

“There was a young lady and it looked like she had everything she owned in a shopping cart…she had a baby in her grocery cart,” he said.

Day approached the woman in hopes of giving her a couple of dollars, possibly a meal. But the woman was apprehensive of Day — as it was late at night — and she ran from him.

The following day, he got on social media to address the homeless the issue and rally supporters for his cause. A town hall meeting was set and about 65 people were in attendance. From there, the Community Care Outreach organization was formed — holding various soup kitchens and drives in participating churches and other free areas.

Community Care Outreach works under the belief of simply helping those who show up in need of help. There are no criteria people have to meet to get a meal or a coat for the chilly weather.

“You don’t have to certain criteria, you don’t have to clean yourself for us to take care of you, we’re just going to take care of you,” said Day.

The organization also works as liaison of sorts for other services available in the area that people may not be aware of. Day describes it as “glorified directory assistance.”

“We don’t just want to feed people, we want to point them in the right direction,” he said.

Day is amazed at how his brainchild has progressed.

“I had no idea of what this thing is supposed to look like, but it’s working. The volunteers that I have are remarkable to the point where I don’t have to do anything, which is pretty amazing. These folks just show up and do the job and they take care of the people that are there,” he said.

The organization has people dedicated to overseeing all donations, and those donations go to supplies and go right back into the community.

“I’ve always had a heart for helping hurting people…we’ve never turned anybody away. We give away everything that we get…people’s lives are changing.

Day cited the people who have been “boots on the ground” in making his idea a realization.

“Nina Shoemaker, Lisa Evans, Steven Temple…those three people and several, several more…none of this would be possible without them,” he said.