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Second Harvest racing to meet a $1 million grant match; 'Help for Louie' campaign continuing

Sue Guinn Legg • Updated Jun 13, 2018 at 9:48 PM

Second Harvest Food Bank is in a race to capture as much of a $1 million CenturyLink grant match as possible for children in Northeast Tennessee who are at risk of going hungry.

As Second Harvest Executive Director Rhonda Chafin put it in an heartfelt release to local media on Tuesday, “When school is out, hunger begins for many children in Northeast Tennessee.

The truth, Chafin related plainly, is that “Without access to school feeding programs, many children go hungry.”

For those who care to help the food bank meet the needs of at-risk children and their families, CenturyLink will match donations to Feeding America Network food banks across the country through 11 p.m. Friday.

Chafin thanked those who have already made a gift to the CenturyLink campaign and asked that those who have not to “please do so today and help us reach our goal of $100,000. We are nearly halfway there and we can make it with your support. Thank you for helping us provide nutritious food to individuals and families who need our help.”

Donations may be made on online at CenturyLink Campaign to Fight Hunger by scrolling through the 140 food banks in the CenturyLink service area and selecting Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee.

Chafin said every dollar donated allows the food bank to provide up to four meals. She noted that impact can be doubled during the CenturyLink Campaign. “This is a great opportunity for everyone to make a donation to help feed the hungry in Northeast Tennessee,” she said.

There’s very good news to share this week from friends of Louie Cordero at Grace Temple Church Eternal Life Center.

For the past two weeks, Grace Temple has been working furiously to help Louie raise $12,500 for a down payment on a surgery to remove a fast-growing, stage III cancer that has metastasized near his spine.

The church exceeded its goal over the weekend. And on Tuesday, Louie and his family left Johnson City en route to the Indiana University Cancer Center, where he will undergo the surgery today.

In an update on the “Help for Louie” GoFundMe page, Grace Temple Pastor Mark Redd shared the news with exuberance. “Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!” he wrote.

“To all those who contributed to this miracle of God working through each of you! Because of your donations and prayers, we exceeded our goal of $12,500! Louie and his fiancé Menissa left today for Indianapolis. His surgery is scheduled for Thursday (June 14)! They will continue to update this page as he progresses through his healing! God has provided thus far and we have faith that He will finish it! Thank You again and continue to pray.”

And in his own update on the page Louie wrote, “Just want to say thank you everyone that has helped me to be able to have this surgery done. (Thank You Jesus). Without you all, I don’t know what the outcome would be. So thank you all. This means so much to me. God bless all of you.”

On Thursday morning total donations raised through the GoFundMe page, a Friday night concert at the church, a couple of church fundraising events at Freddy’s and Sweet Frog, and additional fundraising efforts by Grace Temple youth and the women of Johnson City’s Phenomenal Visions group were at just over $18,000.

Redd and the Grace Temple congregation were continuing their drive in hopes of meeting the entire $24,000 cost of Louie’s surgery so Louie may return to Johnson City without debt and, prayerfully, without cancer.

For those who wish to help, online donations may be made at the GoFundMe website www.gofundme.com by searching for “Help for Louie.”

Or, checks made payable to Grace Temple Church and earmarked for “Help for Louie” may be mailed to: Grace Temple Church, P.O. Box 1463, Johnson City, TN 37605.

If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at 423-722-0538 or P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605.

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