Help needed for back-to-school program

Sue Guinn Legg • Aug 5, 2013 at 5:41 PM

Good Samaritan Ministries will distribute back-to-school clothing, shoes, backpacks and supplies to more than 1,200 local children in need this weekend, including nearly 1,000 who will pick up their packages at Good Sam’s Back to School Picnic on Sunday night at Cardinal Park.In Johnson City and Washington County, where a majority of the children reside, classes begin on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. And with time running short, the ministry is still in need of children’s clothing, basic school supplies and monetary donations to help meet the more than $40,000 cost of the distribution that is still outstanding.“We’re extremely behind,” Good Samaritan Executive Director Sarah Wells said Tuesday. “The backpacks were much more expensive than normal and we’re still collecting for those. We’re without the Emergency Solutions Grant we had last year. And, of all things to cut, a lot of the grants no longer cover food, clothing and school supplies, the things we depended on for back to school.”On Wednesday, AT&T delivered a $1,000 donation to Good Samaritan to help meet the cost. And Our Savior Lutheran Church will be collecting donations through Sunday.Sunday evening’s distribution at Cardinal Park will include 600 children served by the ministry’s Summer Food Program for families who struggle for food for children without the free and reduced-price meals available when school is in session, and 400 children from income-eligible families who registered for back-to-school help during a community enrollment open to six counties. In addition to the school supplies and clothing, the children and their families will be treated to a free hot dog and hamburger supper and free admission to the Cardinals’ game against the Elizabethton Twins.About 270 children with parents who are incarcerated who are served year-round by the ministry will receive their back-to-school clothes and supplies at a separate party.The total cost of the project is $63,000. On Wednesday, a little more than $22,000 of that cost had been met and the ministry was making a plea for last-minute donations. Items most needed include children’s tennis shoes, shirts and blouses in boys and girls sizes 6 through 8, socks and underclothing of all sizes. Donations may be brought to the ministry, 100 N. Roan St., from 8:30 a.m-4 p.m. through Saturday. Pickup may be arranged by calling the ministry at 928-1958.While all monetary donations are welcome, a $35 donation to Good Samaritan Ministries earmarked for Back to School will provide clothing, shoes, a backpack and supplies for one child. Donations may be made online at www.goodsamjc.org or by mail to P.O. Box 2441, Johnson City, TN 37605.Volunteers are also needed to help with Sunday’s picnic and are encouraged to call 928-1958 for details.The American Cancer Society is gearing up for a busy month of fundraising events to be held across the Tri-Cities.On Saturday, the Fourth Annual Morgan Memorial Golf Tournament will be held at Crockett Ridge Golf Course in Kingsport. The four-man select-shot tournament will include a complimentary lunch form the Mason Jar Eatery and a Hole-In-One contest sponsored by Friendship Hyundai. To register, visit www.morganmemorial.org or call the ACS office in Johnson City at 975-0635.The ACS’ annual Hope Gala will be held Aug. 10 from 7-11 p.m. at The Foundation in Bristol. The Little Bit Country Little Bit Rock-n-Roll celebration will include a dinner of Southern culinary favorites, country cocktails and “rocktails,” live music by The Twangbangers and live and silent auctions. Tickets are $125 and transportation from Johnson City and Kingsport will be available. For reservations, visit www.tricitieshopegala.org or call 975-0635.On Aug. 24, the ACS will conduct a Community Yard Sale and Vendor Fair from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. rain or shine, at its offices at 508 Princeton Road. Vendor spots are $15 and may be reserved by calling 975-0635.And finally, the Second Annual ACS Battle of the Batter will be held from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 29 at The Charles in downtown Johnson City. Professional bakers are invited to put their skills to the test in seven cupcake categories to be judged by a panel of fellow professionals and home bakers to vie for honors in three cupcake categories to be judged by the audience. Tickets are $20 and include the guest’s choice of six professionally baked cupcakes and samples of all home baked cupcakes entered in the battle. To register or for information, call 975-0635 or email jessica.poff@cancer.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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