Knoxville has witnessed Yassin Terou’s compassion for his fellow man when tragedy strikes, whether it occurs in his homeland overseas as in his fundraising for the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria or his homeland in Tennessee, when he supported the victims of the Gatlinburg wildfires. He always pulls together the community to rally support for those in need.
Yassin is now launching a new non-profit vision, joined by an equally visionary board of directors that includes Nadeem Siddiqi, local business developer; Adrienne Webster, CPA; Natalie Rice, PhD, UT Research Associate; and Dirk Sampselle, JD, MBA.
Seeds & Bridges, named so because Yassin says that seeds grow into thriving plants and bridges connect communities.
Yassin has continually sown seeds in his Falafel House as he has lifted his employees to rebuild lives after seasons of despair.
He has also built bridges with the community in the years he has been in Knoxville, being named Reader’s Digest, “Nicest Place in America,” and awarded the 2018 Rotary Peace Prize.
Yassin, who came to the United States and Knoxville from Syria, says, “I came here with nothing and so many people helped me. I want to help others and I want the community to keep repeating this after me.”
Yassin wants to expand how he has used his business acumen and love of fellowman into a community-wide service that allows likeminded people to work together to serve their brothers and sisters in need and the board members are united in this goal.
Yassin has always served as a beacon of hope for those needing to restart their lives, from providing a job to helping them find a place to live.
Now Seeds & Bridges will expand his vision by increasing this service to the homeless community. He is planning on starting with a new pop-up project and a food truck that will employ those needing a job.
Yassin says, “Our goal is to teach them the skills so they can reach their own dreams and continue to give back to the community. The non-profit will work to feed those in need during everyday life and during times of emergency. We will also serve customers to provide income to the non-profit, so we don’t have to solely rely on donations.”
Donations* to Seeds & Bridges will help people needing to restart their lives from refugees, to rehabilitated addicts and people who have served time. (*501(c)(3) applied)
Community support and donations will provide the ability for the pop up and food truck to serve first responders and victims when local disasters occur and provide necessities like food and water when they are not easily accessible.
There are many other projects in the vision of Seeds & Bridges that aren’t just food related. This will allow them to help even more people and explore new projects by hiring people in need and giving back to the community.
Eventually, Yassin sees his vision expanding internationally, but for now his focus is on our community as his open doors have always shown love and compassion for those in need.
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