Helping Those Around Us (Hint – You Can Help Too)

When Extreme Makeover came to Knoxville in January, it shed light not only on the needs of the Watson family but the many needs of our community. For me personally, a friend of our family, suffered a severe loss last year. Reed Faulkenberry, 40, died unexpectedly from a heart attack last May. Left behind are his wife Jana and five children ranging in age from 8 to 16.

Like many families, the Faulkenberrys purchased a house to renovate and truly make the home of their dreams. However, those plans were cut short with Reed’s untimely death. Since last May, the community has identified different needs to help. Gregor Smee, Principal of Smee + Busby, saw something that most would not identify as a need but most families cannot live without–fun.

While Smee was visiting the Faulkenberrys to put up a tree swing in the back yard for one of the daughters, he asked Jana what else could be done for the children. She said that Reed had talked a couple of years ago about building a tree house for the kids. Gregor, an architect, offered the help of his staff at Smee + Busby Architects to design and build a five platform (one for each child) tree house in two large existing trees connected by a cable suspension bridge.

Fellowship Church and Smee + Busby will provide the design and labor, but the outstanding need is the funds to cover lumber, hardware, and parts for the bridge. It can be donated through Fellowship Evangelical Free Church so as to be tax deductible.



If you can spare $30 to make this dream come through for the Faulkenberry family, let me know. If you can’t, take a minute to share this story with your friends on your social networks. I will keep this post updated with the status of the fundraising efforts.

Jeremy Floyd

Jeremy Floyd is the President at FUNYL Commerce. Formerly, he was the CEO and President of Lirio, Bluegill Creative, a marketing and communications firm in Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition to managing the digital strategies, Floyd was an adjunct professor for the University of Tennessee Chattanooga MBA program teaching digital strategies and social media. Floyd blogs at and tweets under the name @jfloyd. Jeremy is licensed to practice law in the State of Tennessee and holds a law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from MTSU in English and Philosophy.

  • Dorry

    I love the idea of contributing to making a dream like a tree house a reality. A beautiful place to play, escape and dream.

  • Hpwooten

    Love it! Yes, we would love to help!

  • Michellerbickers

    Awesome! Jana my hero, a great mom who has faced the difficulties of this last year, made amazing changes in her health and still finds a way to have fun with her kids. I love her! I’m in!