Approximately 2,000 low-income families and seniors in Washington, Carter and Unicoi counties have signed up for help from this year’s Salvation Army Angel Tree and Johnson City Press Christmas Box.
While the final numbers are still being tabulated, Salvation Army Maj. Patty Elliott said it appears registration for help for the sister holiday projects conducted last week in Johnson City and Monday and Tuesday in Elizabethton exceeded last year’s outreach to 1,926 local households in need.
While the Salvation Army is continuing to receive calls daily from families who missed the registration, Elliott said no additional applications will be taken until the total number of children signed up for Angel Tree gifts is calculated and the agency determines if more children can be included. Last year, shoppers provided gifts of toys and clothing to 2,570 Angel Tree children in the three-county area.
This year’s Angel Tree drive will kick off at the Mall at Johnson City on Nov. 18. The Angel Tree will be located near the GNC store on the mall’s upper level and additional trees will be set up at other shopping centers in Johnson City and Elizabethton.
Each of the trees will be decorated with paper ornaments bearing the first names, clothing sizes and gift wishes of children in need and volunteers will be available to help shoppers adopt children from the tree to shop for and to accept their gifts in advance of the distribution.
The Salvation Army is recruiting volunteers to work at the Angel Tree tables as well as individuals, families, church groups, Sunday school classes and club members who wish to volunteer together in its annual bell-ringing Red Kettle drive to support year-round Salvation Army services.
Volunteers who wish to help or groups in need of more information are encouraged to call the Salvation Army at 926-2101.
The Johnson City Press Christmas Box drive to provide a holiday meal for the families of the Angel Tree children, low-income seniors and others in need kicked off Oct. 16 and will continue throughout the holiday season. Now in its 31st holiday season, the Christmas Box will once again provide a holiday food box for families of three or more people, or a $30 grocery shopping gift card for a senior or a household of one or two people.
For those who wish to help, a $35 donation to the Christmas Box will provide a large food box, including a turkey, a 7-pound ham, 10 pounds of potatoes, three pounds of onions, the makings of a complete holiday meal and enough extras for several additional meals for one family.
The Christmas Box is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit corporation and all contributions are tax deductible. The newspaper covers all administrative costs of the project so that all monetary gifts go directly to the purchase of food.
Donations to Christmas Box may be made by mail to P.O. Box 1387, Johnson City, TN 37605. For more information about the project or how to help, call Ron Tipton at the Press at 929-3111, ext. 302.