Ted Denning has spent more than 30 years helping meet the needs of individuals, families and children in Knoxville and the surrounding area. Ted has been married to Phyllis for 56 years, and they are both parishioners of St. Jon Neumann, where Phyllis serves as secretary. Sister Yvonne, the founder of Crazy Quilt Friendship Center, recruited Ted in the late 1980s and, as Ted puts it, he has “been with Crazy Quilt ever since.”
Ted is part of a group of volunteers who collect donations of all types, from furniture and appliances to clothing and electronics, from generous donors all over the region. Once they have filled their 12-by-6-foot enclosed trailer, it is time to make the trip to Newcomb, near Jellico, to deliver the goods. Ted says, “We don’t haul air, we fill every square inch of space in that trailer!” And while Ted doesn’t know a single Crazy Quilt client or customer personally, he always has candy ready, in case there are children in the store while he’s there.
A humble man, Ted mentioned repeatedly that he was not the only person involved in this wonderful act of kindness. He was also adamant that none of this would be possible without the generosity of those who donate the items his group delivers; so adamant that he would not consent to this article unless the donors and other volunteers received recognition as well.
Despite having had both knees replaced and a double bypass heart procedure, Ted continues his regular delivery schedule for Crazy Quilt. Already ahead of last year’s total, 52 loads of needed goods have been delivered so far in 2010.
Catholic Charities’ Crazy Quilt Friendship Center serves the rural poor in the Campbell County area through its thrift store, food pantry, emergency assistance and children’s summer and Christmas programs. The only outreach of its kind in its immediate area, Crazy Quilt owes a great deal of its continuing success to volunteers like Ted Denning, who just “keeps on truckin’”!