Knoxville Mitten Tree provides warmth

More than 400 Lonsdale Elementary School students in Knoxville are a little warmer this winter, thanks to the annual Mitten Tree event sponsored by steel recycler Gerdau and held at the school during the holiday season.

When Gerdau took over operations of its Knoxville mill in 2000, the company began hosting this event to provide hats, mittens, holiday treats and a visit from Santa for the schoolchildren.

“Each year, our employees look forward to interacting with our neighborhood kids through this event,” Gerdau Vice President and General Manager Johnny Miller said. “Some of the children here today could be our future employees, and we’re happy to help keep them warm this winter.”

The Mitten Tree event has become a fun tradition for the students at Lonsdale Elementary School. For Gerdau, it helps fulfill the company’s goal of being a great neighbor.

“This holiday event is a happy and helpful celebration at Lonsdale Elementary,” Principal Amy Brace said. “The children love all the attention, games and treats. They also benefit from having hats and mittens to keep them warm during the cold winter months, which is particularly important because so many of our students walk to school. We appreciate Gerdau’s generosity in hosting the Mitten Tree year after year.”

2014-12 Gerdau - Mitten Tree

From left, Lonsdale Elementary School students Luis, Leila and Prosperity show off their new gear with Gerdau Vice President and General Manager Johnny Miller (center) after selecting their winter hats and mittens at the annual Mitten Tree event hosted at the school by Gerdau on Dec. 12. Photo submitted.