Isaiah 117 House receives Chic-fil-A’s True Inspiration Award

Published 8:17 am Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Wednesday at the Chic-fil-A in Elizabethton, Isaiah 117 House was presented a check for $20,000 from the restaurant after being selected as a recipient of the 2019 True Inspiration Awards for the Atlantic Region.

Isaiah 117 House was one of two organizations selected for the award from Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina. The other organization picked from the Atlantic Region was the Ezekiel Center in Columbia, S.C.

“Financially it is huge,” said Isaiah 117 House director and founder Ronda Paulson. “To receive $20,000 is amazing and a great jump start for one of our second locations.”

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Paulson went on to say that it was great to see how the local community came out and supported the Isaiah 117 House.

“There was a voting aspect to it, and the community really rallied around us,” Paulson said. “They voted and voted and voted. I love being able to thank this community for rallying around us and showing us support.”

Paulson accepted the award from Chic-fil-A operator Tommy Tipton.

According to the Chic-fil-A website the True Inspiration Awards are given to organizations that “go above and beyond in the fields of innovative education, emerging leader development, and youth entrepreneurship.” Chic-fil-A gave out 22 awards this year.

The Isaiah 117 House serves as a comforting place for children to stay while awaiting placement with a foster family. Paulson came up with the idea of the organization after noticing that children had to stay several hours up to a day at the Department of Children’s Services Offices while waiting to be placed with a foster family. On the organization’s website, Paulson says that “these children often have nothing with them and are scared, lonely, hungry, and often in dirty clothing.”

Isaiah 117 House currently serves Carter, Unicoi, and Johnson counties in Northeast Tennessee, and Paulson someday hopes to partner with others “to add homes that serve children in all regions throughout the state of Tennessee.” Paulson said that the $20,000 will be used towards establishing an Isaiah 117 House in Greene County.