KINGSPORT — The art and poetry of Cindy Risk will be the centerpiece of a fund-raiser this week for Hunger First.
The theme of the event, set for 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Kingsport Renaissance Center, is “If You Don’t Like the Effect, Don’t Produce the Cause.”
In addition to the display of pen-and-ink original artworks, Risk will read some of her own poems, and musical entertainment will be provided by pianist Vernon Ransom and a bluegrass group.
Risk has operated Hunger First — a “no questions asked” social aid shelter — for 16 years in downtown Kingsport. It is currently located at 829 Myrtle St., at the corner of East Center Street — a couple of blocks from the Renaissance Center.
Other agencies scheduled to have representatives available at the event include the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Medicare Extra, Frontier Health, and Hope for Tennessee (previously known as Project Hope).
Admission to the event is $5, or a donation of non-perishable food items.
The walls at Hunger First are scattered with messages about bettering yourself and others, expanding your mind and respect.
Here, those seeking help are not asked the typical questions that can get wrapped up in judgmental red tape. If you need clothing, something to eat, or just need to talk, the door is open to literally everyone at Hunger First.
“She helps anyone, anyway she can,” a neighbor said last week. “She feeds them. She gives them something to wear. She gives them books ... and tries to have toys to give the kids. Sometimes, all they need is somebody to listen, and she does that, too.”
The Kingsport Renaissance Center is located at 1200 East Center St.
For more information about the event or Hunger First, contact Risk at 579-5202.
Donations can be sent to: Hunger First, 829 Myrtle St., Kingsport, TN 37660.