Spread the spirit by giving

Johnson City Press • Dec 9, 2019 at 8:03 AM

A true sense of community was on display this weekend in downtown Johnson City. Hundreds came out for the ceremonial tree lighting Friday night in King Commons, and thousands lined West Walnut, Buffalo and East Main streets for the annual Christmas Parade on Saturday.

Having the Budweiser Clydesdales at both events didn’t hurt, of course, but the huge turnout reminded us of the crowds shown in historic photos of parades from downtown’s glory days.

Downtown’s revitalization has been the driver in what we believe is a renewed spirit and sense of ownership for people who call this place home. Johnson City pride is back. Events in Jonesborough, Unicoi, Erwin and Elizabethton lead us to a similar conclusion.

One way we can make that sense of community felt for more of us is to support those less fortunate. The holiday season can be particularly difficult for families in such circumstances to meet their needs, but there are several ways you can help this week. As Good Neighbor columnist Sue Guinn Legg has reported:

• Coalition for Kids needs help with its Shopping 4 Others outing. The special night of shopping allows each of up to 200 children to buy a coat, shoes, an outfit of clothing and a toy for themselves, and one additional gift for someone they love. Visit coalitionforkids.org or contact the Coalition’s community center at 2423 Susannah St., (423) 434-2031.

• Johnson City’s Seasons of Hope needs help with Christmas turkeys and hams for low-income working families on its Secret Santa list. Secret Santa families are available for adoption at www.seasonsofhopetn.org. To learn more about how to make a contribution or to adopt a family, contact Katy at [email protected].

• Good Samaritan Ministries’ Be a Light Christmas Marketplace hopes to provide clothing and gifts for 1,000 children and teens. An individual sponsorship of $150 will complete a package of Christmas clothing and gifts for one child or teen. Monetary donations of any amount may be made online at goodsamjc.org or mailed to P.O. Box 2441. Gift items may be dropped off Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-noon and 1-3:30 p.m. at Good Samaritan’s offices at 100 N. Roan St. or the marketplace location at 207 Princeton Road. Volunteers also are needed. Call 423-928-1958 for more information.

• The Johnson City Press Christmas Box continues to accept donations for our annual program that serves more than 1,000 local families and several hundred area seniors. A $35 donation provides a large box with all the makings of a holiday dinner, a ham, 10 pounds of potatoes, 3 pounds of onions and more than 40 canned and packaged food items for a family of three or more people, or a $35 Food City gift certificate for a senior or small household of one or two people. Donations are tax deductible and can be made online at jcpchristmasbox.comor by mail to P.O. Box 1387, Johnson City, TN, 37605.

Any number of other organizations and churches also are in need of support this holiday season. Whether it’s by financial contribution or volunteering, you can spread the spirit of community with just a little kindness.

Please give.

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