The drive to provide holiday food to hundreds of low-income families and seniors in need at Christmas kicks off today in conjunction with Monday’s start of the Johnson City Salvation Army’s Angel Tree and Christmas Box registration.
Appeal letters asking for the community’s continued support for the Christmas Box are being prepared and the newspaper’s annual series of stories documenting the circumstances and special needs local families and seniors face as the holiday approaches will begin soon.
Last year, the Christmas Box provided all the makings of a Christmas dinner and several additional meals to 1,076 area households with children included in the Salvation Army gift distribution, grocery shopping gift certificates to more than 600 area seniors and small households of one or two people, and hams for several hundred families served by other nonprofit holiday food distributions in region.
As it has through the project’s history, the distribution was made possible entirely by monetary gifts from individuals, churches, businesses and clubs that give to the project, the assistance of key project partners including Second Harvest Food Bank and business that donate or discount their products for the box, and organizations and individuals who give their time and volunteer labor to the effort.
Reiterating the confidence often expressed by his predecessor Art Powers, Christmas Box Board Chairman Tom Harris said he was sure the community will once again give its generous support the project so that others less fortunate will have a more bountiful Christmas.
Registration of low-income families and seniors in Washington and Unicoi counties in need of help with gifts for their children from the Salvation Army Angel Tree or food from the Johnson City Christmas Box will be conducted from 9 a.m to noon and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m Monday through Friday, Oct. 1-5, at the Johnson City Salvation Army office at 204 W. Walnut St. Registration for Carter County families and seniors will be conducted Monday and Tuesday Oct. 22 and 23 at the National Guard Armory in Elizabethton.
Applicants should bring a photo ID for the person registering; identification for all children in the household age 12 and under such as a birth certificate, shot record or TennCare card; proof of address, proof of income and proof of expenses such as utility bills or a food stamp letter. More information about the registration may be obtained by calling the Salvation Army at 423-926-2101.
For those who wish to give, the Christmas Box is a 501(c)3 organization and all donations are tax deductible. Because the Johnson City Press covers all administrative costs for the project, 100 percent of all donations are used to purchase food. Donations may be made online at jcpchristmasbox.com or by mail to P.O. Box 1387, Johnson City, TN 37605.
More information about the Christmas Box can be found at the website or at the johnson City Press Christmas Box page on Facebook, or may be obtained by calling Press Staff Writer Sue Guinn Legg at 423-722-0538.
Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected] . Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.