“We have single parents raising their own children, also working hard, but not having enough to make ends meet,” said Maj. Jayne May of the Salvation Army of Kingsport.
“We have grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. … Today I had a great-grandmother, on a walker, wait in line with everyone else. No complaints. Completely patient. She reminded me that she is taking care of her great-grandchildren. It was her or foster care, and she couldn’t let that happen.”
May also tells the story of another grandmother raising five grandchildren after their father, her son, passed away.
“Of course, her mourning led her to a dark place and she contemplated suicide, but what kept her from it was knowing that she had to raise his children. She said they’re what keep her going every day.”
And May offers many other examples of the people the Salvation Army and the Rescue Fund are helping this year.
“Another lady has three of her own children. A friend of hers was going to prison and had no one to take care of her children, so she stepped in and took on her two children as well,” she said.
“A week ago we heard that one of our applicants had passed away. Her sister was having to, all of a sudden, take care of her nieces and nephews.”
And then there was the woman who apologized to May because she had forgotten her appointment with the Salvation Army.
“Everything had become a blur to her. She walked into her home just a few days ago to find her father, who lived with her, dead on the floor. She was leaving our place to go to the funeral home to make the arrangements to bury her father,” May said.
The partnership between the Salvation Army and the Times News Rescue Fund provides much-needed grocery store gift cards for families and Holiday Boxes for the elderly and shut-ins at Christmas.
“As I think of the many families we've served over these past few weeks, I'm especially praying for those who have had a very rough year, and yet find a way to smile through their difficulties. I believe the partnership of the Salvation Army and the Rescue Fund contribute to that,” May said.
“Each family we serve has a story and each one needs a little help. The fact that there are those in our community who give to others that they don’t even know proves the generosity of our community and shows over and over again that Kingsport is one of the best places to live in the United States.”
The Times News Rescue Fund aims to provide some of the region’s neediest residents with extra food for Christmas. The fund is dependent on the generosity of Times News readers, and no gift is too small.
Tax-deductible donations can be made to the Times-News Rescue Fund, 701 Lynn Garden Drive, Kingsport, TN, 37660.