KNOXVILLE/MARYVILLE, TN (March 22, 2021) DONATION
The gift, which also commemorates the agency’s 50th anniversary, matches funding from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF)
Long-time supporter William “Ed” Harmon has made a $50,000 gift to Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee (BBBS-ETN) in commemoration of the agency’s 50th anniversary and in support of its effort to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on underserved families.
Harmon’s gift joins funding received from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). SNF gave support to fifteen Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) agencies around the U.S. to help youth stay virtually connected to their mentors during a time of physical distancing.
The funding Harmon provided will help make and support 80 matches in his home county, Blount County, as well as Anderson, Knox, and Sevier counties.
Each match between Big and Little includes a dedicated caseworker who provides regular support and wraparound services. More than 75% of families served by BBBS-ETN say it has been the first agency to reach out during the pandemic and nearly 90% site their child’s mentor as a source of support during the pandemic.
Harmon, who helped found Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee in 1970, has supported the agency for fifty years.
“Ed Harmon has left an indelible impact on Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee,” said BBBS-ETN CEO Brent Waugh. “We are unbelievably grateful for not only his financial contributions—which are more important now than ever—but also for his advocacy for nearly five decades. Mr. Harmon has forever changed the lives of countless youth in Blount County and throughout East Tennessee.”
“I am proud to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee and delighted to know that my funds will join those from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation,” Harmon said. “This agency means so much to me. It’s been a pleasure to see thousands of lives positively impacted by the organization over the last fifty years, especially now, when the needs of families are so great.”
A native of Maryville, Harmon lived in Pigeon Forge for 35 years and owned Country Oaks Cottages. He is an active member of several boards and organizations. Harmon is also a member of the Broadway United Methodist Church. Harmon’s financial support includes significant gifts to non-profits, universities, and community colleges throughout East Tennessee.