With budgets depleted by the holidays, the weather at its coldest and home heating costs at their highest, meeting the mortgage, the rent, the utilities and the other essential home expenses is a challenge.
Throw a lost job or several large medical bills into the equation, and that challenge can quickly become life-impacting, especially for those who struggle to meet the bills year round.
Late fees add up. Disconnection notices roll in. And at the worst of times, more than two months of missed rent can put a hard date on the looming threat of eviction.
It’s at this time of year local charitable ministries are also under the gun as they work to help not only those who are homeless but those who are at risk of homelessness.
A recent check with Good Samaritan Ministries revealed the ministries’ caseload is currently at an extreme.
At mid-month, Good Samaritan Executive Director Aaron Murphy told me the ministry was working with 11 families who were facing eviction on Jan. 31 and more whose eviction dates were set in February.
Back rents can easily run into thousands of dollars and are especially difficult to come up with even for well supported ministries that often combine what funds they can with those of other charitable organizations to meet the needs of single family at risk of being placed on the street.
With the overall need for rent, utility and heating fuel assistance at a seasonable extreme, Good Samaritan supporters are preparing for an extreme fundraiser to help make up the difference.
On Saturday, Feb. 2, Murphy and as many warm bodies and willing souls as the ministry can muster will be plunging into an ice-filled pool at The Wellness Center on Med Tech Parkway and they want you to join them.
More than a dip in icy water, each of the plungers in the “Freezin’ for a Reason” benefit will be raising donations to help Good Samaritan meet the community’s poor weather the tough months of winter.
The plunge will take place at noon in the Wellness Center’s outdoor pool, regardless of the weather. Plungers of all ages are welcome, but if you’re under 18 you’ll need your parents consent. Each will be asked to raise a minimum of $100 in sponsorship donations for their plunge, although donations of any amount will likely be most welcome.
The ministry encourages those who wish to take the plunge for the community’s poor to start raising the sponsorship donations now.
Registration forms and more information about the fundraiser are available online at goodsamjc.org. More information may also be obtained by calling the ministries volunteer line at 423-928-1958.
If there is a need or a project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at 423-722-0538, [email protected] or P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605.