November 20, 2019

East Tennessee Foundation (ETF) announces grant recipients from the Laura J. Kress Angel Tree Fund of East Tennessee Foundation. Eleven (11) grants totaling $83,000 were awarded to nonprofit organizations that will fill 2019 Holiday wishes for children-in-need in nine of East Tennessee’s most rural counties.  

The Laura J. Kress Angel Tree Fund (Angel Tree Fund) was established at East Tennessee Foundation in June 2019 in honor and in memory of Laura J. Kress, founder of the Angel Tree, who passed away earlier that year.  Over forty-five years ago, Laura J. Kress joined members of the West Knoxville Business and Professional Women’s Club to bring Christmas to dozens of  children. With her leadership, the Angel Tree has helped grant more than 725,000 Christmas wishes over four decades. Laura J. Kress' life-long passion and dedication to fulfill wishes for children in Tennessee during the Holiday Season will continue to provide gifts for East Tennessee’s children-in-need with grants from this fund. 

Grants from the Laura J. Kress Angel Tree Fund have been awarded to the following organizations: Appalachian Life Quality Initiative (ALQI); Children’s Center of the Cumberlands; Community Health of East Tennessee (CHET); Douglas Cherokee Economic Authority; Grassy Fork Elementary School; Of One Accord, Inc.; Rutledge Elementary School; Somebody Loves Me, Inc.; The Salvation Army; Union County Children’s Charity; and Woodland Community Development Corp.

For more information, please contact Jan Elston, Vice President for Competitive Grant Programs, by phone at (865) 524-1223, toll-free at (877) 524-1223, or by email at