Orange Mound event club turns into space for less fortunate during cold weather

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- An event club in Orange Mound is opening its doors to the less fortunate during this cold weather and needs your help.

Club Memphis on Park Avenue usually books events but is now providing housing, food and clothes to people in need during the cold nights.

Ashaki Williams owns Club Memphis and said these recent low temperatures made her think of those stuck outside.

“I said, 'You know what, it’s warm inside, it’s comfortable and there are people around here that I see all the time walking,' so I said, 'I’m going to open the doors," said Williams.

She’s welcoming anyone in need to spend the cold nights inside the club and is taking donations for coats, gloves, blankets and food to give them.

They plan on having their doors open from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. through the New Year and any other future days where temperatures drop.

Williams gathered what she calls ‘foot soldiers’ on Friday to spread the word through the neighborhoods.

“We want to try and support her as much as possible," said Pastor Donald Davis with Spiritual Union Abide in Christ Ministries.

Volunteers said this is just the beginning of revitalizing Orange Mound.

“Orange Mound has stated for itself that we want to revitalize, so we see the issues we have and we want to bring in the community into a new era of greatness because our history is so rich, it’s just hard to see the community in the position that it is now," said volunteer Britney Thornton.

As they plan more charitable events, they’re also working to connect with the youth -- thinking of how in the last few months, two young men from Orange Mound have lost their lives in shootings.

“Our youth need to see another side of our community," said Ronald Davis, head football coach at Melrose High School. "You know, so much the negativity is in the forefront, we need to show them that they can make a difference and once they can make a difference, it'll filter through the community.”

They’re working to change the dialogue from being about taking to being about giving.

“Orange Mound come out and show your love," said volunteer LaTonia Blankenship.

They still need volunteers starting Friday evening and donations at Club Memphis to keep this mission going.

They said if you can offer your time, clothes, food or anything else, you can contact them on the Club Memphis Facebook page or at 901-864-7317.

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