Samaritans spreading Easter joy

Sue Guinn Legg • Mar 29, 2012 at 8:40 AM

Good Samaritan Ministries is putting together the last of 600 Easter baskets to be distributed to area children in need beginning on Sunday.

Loaded with candy-filled eggs, chocolate crosses and other treats fashioned with biblical messages about the resurrection of Christ, the baskets will go to more than 400 children who have a parent incarcerated in a local jail or prison and to about 175 children in Carter County’s Elk Mills community where a single contributor donated sponsorships to provide a basket for every child included in the free and reduced price meal program at Little Milligan Elementary School.

With the baskets, each of the 600 children will also receive a Bible donated for the distribution by Lifeway Christian Stores.

On Wednesday, the ministry was still about $1,000, or 67 $15 child sponsorships, short on the cost of the Easter treats and in need of volunteers to help pack the last 125 baskets on Friday and Saturday.

In addition to sharing in the traditions of Easter with a child in need, each donation to Good Samaritan earmarked for a “Resurrection Basket” will add Good Samaritan Ministries share of this year’s Feinstein Food Challenge.

Conducted annually by Feinstein Foundation of the New Jersery, the challenge provides a proportional match for every pound of food donated and every monetary gift made for food purchases during March and April to participating hunger relief agencies nationwide.

In addition to Good Samaritan, other local agencies participating in this year’s Feinstein challenge include Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee and the pantry and emergency kitchen at the Johnson City Salvation Army Corps.

Feinstein Food Challenge grants range from $250 to $40,000 and are awarded in proportion to the amount of community support the agencies receive, adding to the value of every food or monetary donation for made prior April 30.

For those who wish to help, donations to Good Samaritan Ministries earmarked for “food” or for a “Resurrection Basket” child sponsorship may be made by mail to Good Samaritan, P.O. Box 2441 Johnson City, TN 37605, or online at www.goodsamjc.org.

To add to this year’s Feinstein Challenge grant to the food bank or the Salvation Army, call Second Harvest at 477-4053 or the army at 926-2101.

Cash For Your Cause, The Mall At Johnson City’s annual spring shopping benefit for area schools and nonprofit organizations, is under way and will continue through May 6.

Sponsored by Eastman Credit Union, the event allows mall shoppers to make their purchases count for a local school, service agency or civic group of their choice. To participate, shoppers are invited to bring their receipts for any purchase made from a mall store between March 19 and May 6 to the Mall Customer Service Center. Each one dollar purchase is good for one point for the school or nonprofit organization designated by the shopper. At the end of the competition, the organizations with first-, second- and third- highest point totals will receive cash prizes of $6,000, $4,000 and $2,000, respectively. Mall gift card purchases are good for triple points every day, and individual stores will be chosen weekly for double point credits.

Tonight will be a hot Havana night at The Venue in downtown Johnson City. Located across Main Street from Hands-On! Regional Museum, The Venue is hosting a Hot Havana Night fashion show in preview of this year’s Hot Havana Nights Hope Gala for American Cancer Society.

The show starts at 6 p.m. and will include food by Bone Fish Grill, cocktails from Universal Wine & Spirits and a preview of summer fashions perfect for ACS’ Latin-themed benefit coming up on May 12. Tickets to the fashion show are $40. All proceeds will go to the ACS.

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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