Junior League Bag-A-Bargain making a comeback for area teens; United Way stuffing a bus for summer feeding and reading for low-income kids

Sue Guinn Legg • May 1, 2019 at 9:10 PM

The Junior League of Johnson City is bringing back an old favorite to help the Frontier Health Adventure Program for teens in recovery.

Bag-A-Bargain, a giant garage sale with a three-prong approach to community service, will return Saturday morning, May 4, in the gymnasium of Fairmont Elementary School.

Coordinated by the Junior League’s provisional class with help from the club’s sustaining advisers, the sale will be held from 7:30 to noon. Gently-used toys, housewares, boutique clothing and shoes and other second-hand treasures will available at rock bottom prices.

Community donations for the sale may be dropped off at the gym from 5-9 p.m. on Friday, May 3.

A three-in-one service to the community, the sale is designed to help people in need of its low-cost sale items, to help people clean out their closets and to raise money for vital community services.

Provisional class member Alyssa Williams said Bag-A-Bargain is a great example of what can happen when people work together toward a common goal. In its heyday, the sale was held in East Tennessee State University’s mini-dome and raised as much as $30,000 annually for initiatives that enhanced the lives of community children.

Kathy A. Benedetto, Frontier Health’s senior vice president of Tennessee children's services, said the Adventure Program works with youths to help them stop using drugs, to find better ways to cope and build better problem solving skills.

Benedetto said the provisional class has really stepped up to brighten up the facility and help with its classroom needs. “Our history with the Junior League reflects what a group of committed women can accomplish and we are grateful to them," she said.

Provisional class member Haowei Claire Tong said the club does not shy away from “our community's toughest problems.”

“Any given weekend, you will find us painting the Frontier Health Adventure Center, preparing dinner at the Ronald McDonald House or running a canned food drive for Second Harvest.”

This weekend, Tong said, “We want you to join us. When you shop our Bag-a-Bargain sale, you will help us help others."

The United Way of Washington County and Atmos Energy are inviting the community to join them in the launch of new feeding and reading venture for kids at risk of going hungry when school is out for summer.

On Wednesday, May 8, the United Way will cut a ribbon on newest addition to the Second Harvest fleet of Lunch Express buses that spend the summer making rounds through rural residential areas where low-income kids do not have access to free summer feeding sites.

The special bus donated and outfitted by Atmos will also be delivering books and information and initiatives to help kids stay healthy and avoid the summer slump in reading proficiency.

The bus reveal will take place at 11 a.m. in the parking lot outside the United Way office in the HomeTrust Bank building located beside the Mall at Johnson City at 1907 N. Roan St. A “Stuff-the-Bus” collection of new and gently used books for children and young readers will be conducted from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. with lunch provided by Atmos starting at 11:30.

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.

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