Despite the nation’s prosperity, 12.3 percent of Americans were living below the poverty level in 2017, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. While that figure had fallen from 14.8 percent in 2014, approximately one American in eight still struggles.
That’s why the Johnson City Press has for four decades worked to feed underprivileged families at Christmas.
We know a lot of hands are out asking for your money this and every holiday season. As evidenced by Staff Writer Sue Guinn Legg’s weekly Good Neighbor column, there is no shortage of worthy causes in need of contributions. Feeding and clothing programs, shelters, toy drives, secret Santas, health assistance and research — you name it, they have legitimate funding needs.
We hope you’ll consider the Johnson City Press Christmas Box among them as you make choices about where you can do some good.
As our former publisher, Art Powers, wrote in a guest column in Tuesday’s edition, the Christmas Box has served thousands of children and their families. The program provides food boxes with more than 40 items for a Christmas meal, including a 5-pound ham, 10 pounds of potatoes, 5 pounds of onions and canned and boxed goods. Each box equates to about $100 worth of food, but bulk buying cuts the costs about 50 percent.
You can trust that your support will go directly to families. The Johnson City Press works with the Salvation Army to identify families in need of assistance. All donations are spent on food, as we cover all administrative costs. The Christmas Box enjoys support from numerous sponsors, volunteers and agencies, including First Tennessee Bank, Walmart of Elizabethton, Second Harvest Food Bank, the Kiwanis Clubs of Johnson City and Erwin, the Baptist Church in Elizabethton, the Appalachian Fair and the Army National Guard in Elizabethton.
But the need is great, and more help is needed. Each year, our staff shares a handful of moving life stories of the people you can help, and they represent just a drop in the bucket.
If you have the means, please support the Christmas Box. 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. You can also call Sue Guinn Legg at 423-722-0538.