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Report: Former OR YWCA assets could be given to Knoxville branch

According to a report in the News-Sentinel, the assets of the now-closed YWCA of Oak Ridge could be transferred to the Knoxville YMCA if a judge approves the recommendation of a local attorney.

The paper reports that the Oak Ridge branch of the YWCA had its affiliation with the national organization revoked in 2008, as well as its tax-exempt status. In 2014, however, the state’s Division of Charitable Solicitation and Gaming filed a complaint against the former director of the Oak Ridge YWCA, Jackie Jackson, who had apparently continued to host events under the YWCA banner and accepted donations without telling people about the revocation of their tax status. The state ordered the Oak Ridge YWCA, which had been renamed East Tennessee Family Services, to stop accepting donations because of what the 2015 order called its “unfair, false, misleading or deceptive acts and practices in fundraising.” In 2015 as well, a judge in Davidson County issued an order that the Oak Ridge operation be shuttered and the IRS determined that Jackson had never been granted tax-exempt or non-profit status yet continued to allow donors to believe their contributions were tax-deductible.

In 2015, a Nashville chancellor appointed Oak Ridge attorney and the founder of Rural Legal Services of Tennessee Martin McBride as the receiver of the Oak Ridge YWCA’s office building, a parking lot and house nearby that was once a domestic violence shelter. McBride evaluated the Oak Ridge operation and has recommended that the properties be transferred to the Knoxville YWCA.

McBride points out that the Knoxville YWCA has recently announced that it will expand its domestic violence victim services into Anderson County and that the properties could be used to help YWCA achieve some of its goals such as a permanent shelter for victims of domestic violence.

A Davidson County Chancellor will consider McBride’s recommendation, which also includes creating a hub where Anderson Countians can take care of all their social services needs, during a hearing set for January 20th in Nashville. For more on this story, check out the article in Friday’s News-Sentinel.

About Jim Harris

Jim Harris has been WYSH's News & Sports Director since 2000. In addition to reporting local news, he is the play-by-play voice for Clinton High School football, boys' and girls' basketball and baseball. Catch Jim live weekdays beginning at 6:20 am for live local news, sports, weather and traffic plus the Community Bulletin Board, shenanigans with Ron Meredith and more on the Country Club Morning Show on WYSH & WQLA. Jim lives in Clinton with his wife Kelly and daughter Carolina, his mother-in-law and cats Lucius and Oliver.

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