Small Miracles' online auction to begin Saturday

Sue Guinn Legg • Apr 24, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Small Miracles Therapeutic Equestrian Center will kick off its 18th annual online auction Saturday at noon at www.small-miracles.org.In announcing this year’s benefit, Small Miracles Executive Director Sherri Russell began with a word of thanks. “We at Small Miracles would like to express our sincere appreciation to all of our supporters who donated so many wonderful items for this year’s auction. Through that generosity and the bidding process, we can generate funds to keep our programs growing.”Auction items that will remain up for bids at the website through May 10 include riding lessons, vacation packages, tickets to local attractions, gym memberships, restaurant, golf and spa passes and more. Winning bidders will be notified by email at the close of the auction and arrangements made for delivery or pick up of their items.All proceeds from the auction will be used to expand Small Miracles’ nonprofit Christian-based equestrian programs for children with special needs, including those on the center’s continuously growing waiting list.Located just off Rock Springs Road about one mile west of Interstate 26 on the rural outskirts of Kingsport, the 11-acre Small Miracles center features an indoor riding arena for year-round programming designed to enhance students’ physical, emotional, social and cognitive growth. The center serves approximately 100 students per week, or more than 300 students each year.More information about Small Miracles is available at the website or may be obtained by calling the center at 349-1111. Volunteers are always needed.Human-Animal Bond in Tennessee, a nonprofit volunteer organization based at the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine, is gathering donations to expand its pet visitation services to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Mountain Home.A student-organized online fundraising campaign to help send H.A.B.I.T. volunteers and their pets to visit veterans at the hospital kicked off March 26 and will wrap up tonight at midnight at www.indiegogo.com/projects/hope-for-habit. On Wednesday evening, $1,285 had been raised toward the students’ $1,500 goal.According to the website, the $1,500 is needed to cover approximately $300 in annual fees required for H.A.B.I.T. volunteers and their therapeutic pets to gain admittance into VAMC and serve veterans in the Tri-Cities area for the next five years. Incentives for online donations range from a social media shout out of appreciation from H.A.B.I.T. and a like or follow on the giver’s social media accounts for a gift of $10 to free admission to H.A.B.I.T.’s annual Barbecue, Bidding and Bluegrass benefit, a face-to-face thank you and the social media package for donations of $500 or more. For those who miss the contest deadline, donations to H.A.B.I.T. designated for “Quillen Veterans Hospital” can also be made by mail to H.A.B.I.T., 2407 River Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996.Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee is in the running for a $50,000 cash prize from General Mills in an online “Outnumber Hunger” drive for product code entries to run through May 18 at www.OutnumberHunger.com.Everyone can help battle hunger in the eight area counties served by the regional food bank by entering codes from specially marked General Mills products bearing the “Outnumber Hunger Feed Local Families” logo. Each week, one participating food bank will receive a $5,000 gift from General Mills for the most Outnumber Hunger product codes entered on its behalf during that week. Every product code entered using a Northeast Tennessee ZIP code will generate a General Meals donation of 55.5 cents for the local food bank, or enough to provide one meal for someone in the region in need. At the conclusion of the competition, a grand prize of $50,000 will be awarded to the food bank that has generated the most meal donations.The Outnumber Hunger codes can be found on the side and back panels of packages of General Mills products, including Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Yoplait, Green Giant, Hamburger Helper and others. A complete product list and more information about the competition and how to ease hunger in America is available at the website.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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