KINGSPORT — Some deserving students want to see the wonders of the Smithsonian, the names of the Vietnam fallen on the wall, and a new tribute to a man who preached on peace. They need your help to reach the capital.
Johnnie Mae Swaggerty has planned a trip next month for New Vision Youth — a group of 40 Tri-Cities children ages 8 to 17 — to tour Washington, D.C. They need sponsorships and donations to reach their goal of more than $2,000.
“We want to enrich their lives, and this can be a life-changing trip for some,” said Swaggerty, who noted one of the main stops will be the newly dedicated Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial. “That is something I want them to see, personally. He had a huge influence on a lot of folks, and we tell them about what he had to go through to achieve his place in life. He is an inspiration, and now that there’s a new monument, I think they need to see it.
“You are talking about an investment of $85 per child, and it is tax deductible. Some of these kids have never been out of Kingsport, Johnson City and the places they live. It’s a chance for them to see the world outside the Tri-Cities for the first time.”
The organization has held a series of fund-raisers including fish fry gatherings and a car wash scheduled this Saturday starting at 9 a.m. at Title Max on 1112 E. Stone Drive in Kingsport.
Any church, civic group or other organization that would like to sponsor a child or contribute to the trip fund can send donations to: New Vision Youth, c/o Johnnie Mae Swaggerty, 950 Dale St., Kingsport, Tenn. 37660.
Swaggerty can also be contacted at 429-7553.