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Mother helped by donation

Sue Guinn Legg • Mar 8, 2012 at 9:04 AM

Good Samaritan Ministries wrote in this week to express appreciation for a $1,500 donation received in response to a request included in last week’s column to stop the eviction of the mother of two who fell behind on her rent while in treatment for multiple sclerosis.

With cuts and delays in a couple of key emergency housing grants the ministry depends on annually to assist area residents at risk of homelessness, Good Sam and many other nonprofit service agencies are relying on the benevolence of local community members more than ever before. The $1,500 donation received for this ailing mother and her children was heartening and representative of what a difference financial support for the agencies makes in the lives of local people in need.

In the five counties served by Good Samaritan and the eight counties served by the regional Second Harvest Food Bank in Gray, March and April are critical months in the procurement of food donations, a 60-day window in which every pound of food and every dollar for food purchases adds to a proportional match from the national Feinstein Foundation.

The more Good Sam, the food bank and other local agencies taking part in the challenge receive in food and monetary donations for food through the end of April, the more the Feinstein Foundation will contribute to their work to relieve hunger among local families and individuals who do not have enough to eat, including an increasing number of seniors and one in three Northeast Tennessee children.

The minimum Feinstein match for participating agencies is $250. The maximum is $40,000. Both the food bank and Good Samaritan are swinging for the maximum in this year’s challenge and asking the community to help by making a food or money donation or by conducting a food drive before April 30.

For information on how to add to the annual Feinstein Challenge match to Good Samaritan, call David at 928-0288 or email david@goodsamjc.org. For information on how to help the food bank maximize its Feinstein match, call Second Harvest at 477-4053 or visit www.netfoodbank.org.

Other local hunger relief agencies participating in this year’s Feinstein challenge and requesting food and monetary donations to add to their match include the Johnson City Salvation Army, the Community Help Center of Northeast Tennessee in Sulphur Springs and Assistance and Resource Ministries in Elizabethton.

For more about this year’s challenge, visit www.feinsteinfoundation.org.

Caris Healthcare and Hospice is searching for volunteers to spend time with people who have little time left and, frighteningly, no one to spend it with.

Jennifer Farnor, volunteer coordinator for Caris in the Tri-Cities, said, “We have so many hospice patients in the Bristol and Kingsport area that are in dire need of a volunteer to just come out and be their friend, read the newspaper or hold their hand. These patients have been told they are terminal and if the disease progresses on the normal path, they have six months or less to live. Some of these patients have no one, no family or friends left. They sit alone hoping for a visitor other than there hospice nurses.”

Farnor is trying to reach as many prospective volunteers as possible to make an impact during what will be someone’s final days. She asked those who wish to help to call her for details at 929-2044.

The Company Store, the online bedding and home accessory retailer that last week delivered 200 new comforters to the Interfaith Hospitality Network for homeless families with children, is continuing its “Buy One Give One” comforter campaign for homeless children nationwide through the end of March.

The campaign offers a 20 percent discount on every comforter purchased at www.thecompanystore.com using the promotional code BOGO20 and The Company Store’s donation of a second new comforter to a child served by any of the hundreds of community based organizations like IHN affiliated through the national Family Promise organization.

More information about IHN’s work in the community is available online at www.ihnjc.com or may be obtained by calling 202-7805. More information about Family Promise is available online at www.familypromise.org.

If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com, P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605 1717 or 929-3111, ext. 335.

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