The ladies auxiliary recently presented The Salvation Army of Kingsport with $10,000. Those funds will go toward helping many this Christmas season with clothing, food and shelter.
“We work to help the charities in our community all we possibly can,” said auxiliary President Ruby Begley. “We have a lot of people in the community that need extra help, especially since the economy is slow and a lot are out of work.”
During the last year, the 254 members of the ladies auxiliary have made and sold apple butter, chow chow and dish cloths. They have hosted soup bean and cornbread suppers, spaghetti suppers, and fish and beef stew suppers.
“We work hard for it,” Begley said. “We give to the Salvation Army every year and have for the past several years.”
Begley said two experiences stick out in her mind that make the hard work worth it.
“One time was when we gave needy baskets. A basket was delivered to a family who had not enough blankets on their beds to keep warm, and the couple that delivered [the baskets] went home and got blankets of their own and took them back to the family,” she said.
“The other experience was when we sponsored a family of seven — five little girls under 6 years old. We gave them food for Christmas dinner, some staple food, an outfit of clothing and each a toy. These people didn’t have a car. The dad walked to work. How many people would do that these days?
“All of us Eagles have had some very sad but happy occasions with our generosity over the years. We are very proud if we can help someone since our Eagles motto is ‘People helping people,’” she said.
The local Fraternal Order of the Eagles has around 700 male members. In years past, the organization’s ladies auxiliary has made financial donations to Second Harvest Food Bank, Friends and Need and the Shriners.