Thirty-eight years ago a group of reporters and staffers in the Johnson City Press newsroom decided to pool their money to help a family in need. Apparently, this family had no money to provide for their family at Christmastime. That started something wonderful and ultimately has grown to be known as the Christmas Box.
At this time of year, every year for the past 38, people of this community have come together to pool their dollars to help needy people provide an outstanding box of food. And it is that time again.
It is time for the good people of Johnson City, Jonesborough, Elizabethton, Erwin, Mountain City and all points between to support this outstanding community program.
Each year, with absolutely no administrative cost to the effort, people who care about people in need are helped by people like you who send in their funds to the Johnson City Press to help purchase boxes of food to be sure these needy people of our region are helped. Just like in recent years, the Christmas Box will help thousands of children and their families receive food boxes with over 40 items which will provide Christmas meals with a 5-pound ham, 10 pounds of potatoes, 5 pounds of onions, canned and boxed goods of dressing, rice cereal and more.
We spend ALL of your gifts on food. Any administrative costs are paid for by the Johnson City Press. This program is administered as a 501(c)3 nonprofit foundation and run by a local volunteer board of directors. The Christmas Box teams up with the Salvation Army, who registers the “clients” as they register for the food boxes, thus verifying their level of need.
We have a great association with Speedway Children’s Charities, Food City, International Paper of Elizabethton, Mr. Stanley Dunbar of Moody Dunbar who provides yams for each box, and many corporate supporters like First Tennessee Bank, the Baptist Church in Elizabethton, Walmart of Elizabethton, Second Harvest Food Bank, and the Kiwanis Clubs of Johnson City and Erwin.
We also thank the Appalachian Fair board of directors and the Elizabethton Army National Guard for providing space to distribute the food boxes to those in need.
As we have moved to Knoxville, my Fran and I continue to support and care very deeply about this great community effort supported by so many of you to help people feed their families. There are just not enough words to say how meaningful it is to see that families can have such a wonderful meal at Christmastime. Won’t you join us again by supporting the Christmas Box?
One box would cost approximately $100 in full retail dollars, but because we buy in bulk and have no additional expenses, we are able to buy a supper box of food for less than $50.
This will be another great year, but only because of you.
Enjoy being a part of this year’s Christmas Box.
Enjoy giving. Enjoy helping people.
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.
Art Powers is a former publisher of the Johnson City Press (2002-2012) and former board of directors president of the Johnson City Press Christmas Box of Northeast Tennessee.