Local EMS food drive helps Community Help Center

Becky Campbell • Nov 22, 2016 at 7:38 PM

An assistance center in Washington County received a little help Tuesday from local emergency medical responders after the responders competed among themselves in a food drive.

Washington County/Johnson City EMS emergency employees are divided into three shifts — A, B and C — and wanted to see which shift was “the best,” Sgt. Michael Lilley said. They also wanted to do something to help the community in which they serve, so Lilley and co-worker Tracy Hoffman came up with the idea of a canned food drive. Unfortunately for Lilley, his shift didn’t bring in the most food. 

Defeat was hard to swallow, but Lilley said it’s still a win-win result because more than 850 cans of food were delivered Tuesday to the Community Help Center in Sulphur Springs and a local charity will receive $1,500 from the three EMS shifts. Another part of the competition was that each shift would put up $500 and the shift that brought in the most food could donate the money to a charity of its choice. The winning shift will donate the $1,500 to the Ronald McDonald House as its charity of choice, Lilley said.

Sally Williams, office manager at the Community Help Center, said the donation would be a great help to local families, particularly right at the holidays.

The center started operation in 2005 after Sulphur Springs United Methodist Church saw a need in the community. Soon, 14 other churches joined in the effort and together they keep the center running. The center serves families in rural Washington County — Limestone, Telford, Jonesborough, Fall Branch and Sulphur Springs — and provides assistance with food, clothing and utilities.

A recent donation of wood for heating was dispersed in the community in a matter of a few days, Williams said. 

If Washington County residents need assistance, they can call Contact Ministries at 926-0144 to be directed to the Community Help Center.

Lilley said EMS hopes to maintain a helping relationship with the center and provide other needs on a monthly basis.

For more information about donations, call the center at 788-0050.



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