Johnson City Press: Christmas Box food and Angel Tree gifts go out to Washington and Unicoi county families in need

Christmas Box food and Angel Tree gifts go out to Washington and Unicoi county families in need

Sue Guinn Legg • Dec 18, 2018 at 10:28 PM

Fair weather and the abounding generosity of thousands of contributors to this year’s Johnson City Salvation Army Angel Tree and Johnson City Press Christmas Box made for a very warm distribution day Tuesday at the Appalachian Fairgrounds.

Gifts boxes packed with clothing and toys for 1,162 Angel Tree children and 531 Johnson City Press Christmas Box food boxes were loaded up and whisked away for more than 2,100 individuals in Washington and Unicoi counties in need of help for the holiday.

Salvation Army Captain Laura Cox said the children’s gifts came in especially good quantity this year and gave credit to Angel Tree shoppers who she said “really stepped up to meet all the children’s needs and wishes.”

Combined with last week’s Angel Tree and Christmas Box distribution in Carter County, a total of 1,794 children received clothing and toys from local Angel Tree shoppers and 3,505 individuals were assisted with food boxes and grocery shopping gift certificates provided by Christmas Box contributors.

Cox said volunteers lending a hand in Tuesday’s distribution included Salvation Army and Christmas Box board members, college students, families who volunteered with the projects for years and several newcomers.

Also covering a lion’s shared of the labor were officers from the Washington County Sheriff’s Department and the county’s detention center community service work crews who Cox said had spent the past month working alongside the Salvation Army staff.

“They’re wonderful. We could not do it without them,” Cox said.

Salvation Army Commander Michael Cox summed it saying, “We have truly been blessed to see the outpouring of all we have had this year. It’s just exciting.”

Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at

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