Holiday projects taking shape

Sue Guinn Legg • Nov 14, 2013 at 8:55 AM

The Handymen for Christ at Telford United Methodist Church have kicked off their annual Christmas bike drive for Washington County schoolchildren in need.The Handymen’s goal this year is to raise enough money to purchase bikes and helmets for 60 students who have been identified by their schools as those who are likely to receive very little at Christmas. The bikes will be assembled at the church on Dec. 14 and presented to the students’ families before the schools’ recess for Christmas.The assembly day will begin at 8 a.m. with a hearty Handymen’s breakfast. Everyone is invited to take part in the assembly and to support the drive with donations to help purchase the bikes and helmets.Donations made payable to Telford United Methodist Church and earmarked for the Handymen Bike Drive may be made by mail to 1775 Old State Route 34, Telford, TN 37690. For more information about the project, call Phillip McLain at 946-2384.Calvary Church in Boones Creek is preparing for its annual Thanksgiving outreach to anyone in the Johnson City area who may not be able to afford the holiday’s traditional turkey and trimmings and anyone who wants to help the church can make sure they do not miss out.Beginning at 11 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, the church will serve dinner it in its fellowship hall and deliver meals to residents of low-income neighborhoods, senior housing centers and other homes where it has been made aware of people who are in need of food.The outreach team will be cooking for up to 200 people and is expecting its guest list to grow as the holiday gets closer and it continues its outreach to those who may be without food or without anyone to enjoy the holiday with.To make the meal possible, Calvary is also reaching out to businesses and individuals who may wish to help with a donation of a turkey, food items, monetary gifts or gift cards for the purchase of food.Those who wish to eat must reserve a seat or arrange for delivery in advance by calling Pastor Ron Lee at the church at 282-2811. Those who wish to provide a turkey must do so by Nov. 24, also by calling the pastor or coming by the church at 178 Pickens Bridge Road, located just off North Roan Street behind Zak’s Fine Furniture.The local Sequoyah Council of the Boy Scouts of America is once again doing its part to help the region’s food banks and community pantries stock up for the greater need for food that comes with the holidays and the arrival of colder weather and higher heating bills.The Scouts spent last weekend delivering grocery bags for their annual Scouting for Food drive in neighborhoods throughout the Tri-Cities and will be returning Saturday morning to collect the donations from anyone who wishes to chip in. Those who received a Scouting for Food bag are asked to place their donations on their doorstep for pickup by 8 a.m. The Scouts’ list of suggested donations is led by canned soups, chili, stews, fish, meats, vegetables and fruit.Those who miss the morning pickup and those who did not receive a bag last weekend may also contribute by bringing their donation to any area Food City store on Saturday or by purchasing a pre-packed Scouting for Food bag available at the stores.All donations will be sorted, boxed and delivered to a food distribution agency in the community where the donations are made.The holiday shopping season will officially get under way at The Mall at Johnson City Sunday night with the 15th annual Magical Night of Giving to benefit area nonprofit service agencies, school and church groups and this year’s Washington County United Way campaign.In addition to once-a-year shopping discounts at stores throughout the mall, the charitable shopping extravaganza includes live entertainment, children’s activities and door prizes with a total estimated value of more than $10,000.Mall Marketing Director Marsha Hammond said the event will begin earlier than in past years with the mall closing at 5 p.m. and reopening at 6 by admission with $5 tickets available at the door or in advance from any of more than 50 participating nonprofit organizations. Children under age 12 accompanied by an adult ticketholder will be admitted free.Hammond said each of the door prize packages are all valued at $100 or more and include a Concert Fly-Away Package to Miami, a $500 mall shopping spree, a $250 mall shopping spree, an “Ultimate Overnight Shopping Spree” that includes a one-night stay at the DoubleTree Hotel, and a Stressless leather chair.“The special sales are the retailers’ way of contributing to the fundraising,” Hammond said. “By offering great savings just for this evening, we expect to attract a lot of people, which means more ticket sales and more money raised for worthy local causes.”If there’s a need or a charitable project in your neighborhood the Good Neighbor column can assist with, contact Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected], P.O. Box 1717, Johnson City, TN 37605 1717 or 929-3111, ext. 335.

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