A Christmas ornament project going on right now will benefit a Maryville non-profit. It's called "Mane Support Grief Counseling."


A Christmas ornament project going on right now will benefit a Maryville non-profit.

It's called Mane Support Grief Counseling. It is a ministry for people who have lost a loved one or experienced some other trauma. It uses horses to help comfort those who are grieving.

Artists are donating their time to help Mane Support and you can help.

"You go paint and then you say well I could do another one and another one and they're all different," Susan Tolson said.

She's just one of the artists painting ornaments in the back room of Fine Arts Blount in Maryville. Susan Tolson is stretching her imagination.

"I just finished some rocking horses, I've done some angels, a nativity, an Eskimo Santa giving gifts to all the arctic animals," she said.

Deede Edele said, "Most of the artists are doing scenery either at Cades Cove or Christmas scenes. We have a lot of snowmen, angels, pretty much anything, oh, penguins, polar bears, anything you can think of that's adorable and that's what they're putting on their ornaments."

The ornament painting is key to a project Deede Edele helped coordinate.

"The Ornaments of Joy is a fun raiser to raise funds for Mane Support Grief Counseling here in Blount County," she said. "Vienna Coffee Company provided all of the ornaments at no charge to the artists, Fine Arts Blount provided all the gift boxes, and then the artists... we just kind of sent out hey artists needed and people jumped right on board."

Here's how it works. Artists come pick up a plain ornament at Vienna Coffee House in Maryville. They take it away and decorate it then bring it back and place it on a tree.

"Each ornament is $10. Every penny of that then goes directly to Mane Support because we've had all these donations," Deede said.

Susan said, "I enjoy doing it so much and I just hope that somebody else can get a little bit of joy from something I've done and treasure it and maybe pass it down." :

The one-of-a-kind hand painted ornaments will be available through Christmas Eve.

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