Good Samaritan preparing baskets for Easter outreach

Sue Guinn Legg • Apr 3, 2014 at 10:34 AM

Good Samaritan Ministries supporters are bearing down on the ministry’s Easter outreach to 700 area children and 100 seniors in need.Easter baskets loaded with candy, small toys and children’s Bibles are being assembled for each of the children, including 300 who have parents who are incarcerated in local jails and 400 who were refered to the ministry by youth services organizations in the Johnson City area because of special needs that put them at risk.For the seniors who are served by Good Samaritan throughout the year, the ministry is working to deliver Easter food baskets containing a canned ham or turkey breast, approximately 75 pounds worth of groceries specially selected to accommodate their dietary needs and a large-print Bible.As of Wednesday, $15 sponsorships needed to cover the cost of each Easter basket had been received for 380 children and 400 children’s Bibles had been donated by LifeWay books.Donations of candy, small toys and stuffed animals to fill the baskets continue to be gathered throughout the community, including a generous collection being assembled by the students at West Side Elementary School in Elizabethton at the urging of 10-year-old Little Miss Tennessee Kaylee Hollifield.Even as she prepares to hand off her crown at this weekend’s 2014 Little Miss Tennessee Pageant in Pigeon Forge, Kaylee is continuing to champion her platform of service to others who are less fortunate, leading her schoolmates in a drive for Easter treats for the children served by Good Samaritan and encouraging others in the community to contribute to the outreach as well. West Side Elementary will wrap up its drive on April 10 with the awarding of an ice cream party for the class that gathers the most donations.For others who wish to help, donations of small toys, stuffed animals, coloring books and crayons, puzzle books, pencils and erasers to help fill the Easter baskets may be dropped off at the ministry at 100 N. Roan St. Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sponsorships of $15 earmarked for “Easter Baskets” or $35 sponsorships earmarked for “Easter Food” for the ministry’s seniors may be made online at goodsamjc.org or by mail to Good Samaritan Ministries, P.O. Box 2441 Johnson City, TN 37605. All food and monetary donations earmarked for food received by April 30 will qualify the ministry for a proportional cash match from the annual $1 million Feinstein Food Challenge.Volunteers are needed to help assemble the Easter baskets beginning today and continuing through next weekend. Those who wish to help are encouraged to call the ministry at 928-1958 for details.Hands On! Regional Museum has put out the invitation for its 7th annual Hot Tea and Totes benefit coming up April 12 at The Charles.An elegant afternoon for women and girls of all ages, the event will include a brunch and tea catered by Cafe Lola and hosted by local television personality Sara Diamond, live and silent auctions of 40 purses, totes and other fun bags containing surprise gifts for the winning bidder and, as a special addition to this year’s benefit, a jewelry show and sale featuring the works of local jewelry artist Blair H. White.In order to accommodate all budgets, purses and totes donated for the event range in value from $5 to $500 and include those created by local artisans as well as designer bags from Tory Burch, Coach, Longchamp and others. Adding to the day’s excitement, curbside valet parking will be provided by volunteers from Bank of Tennessee.“This is the perfect event for girlfriends or grandmothers, mothers, and daughters to enjoy together,” Kristine Carter, Hands On! marketing manager, said.Tickets are $35 and may be purchased in advance by calling Carter at 434-HAND, ext. 108, or emailing kristine@handsonmuseum.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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