Times-News Rescue Fund nears goal

J. H. Osborne • Dec 24, 2016 at 1:30 PM

KINGSPORT — As of noon Friday, Times-News readers had donated $59,312.50 to this year’s Rescue Fund campaign.

We hope to match, or even better, exceed, last year’s record total of $63,000, which bested our goal of $60,000.

“We’re very encouraged by the amount of donations so far for this year’s Rescue Fund campaign,” Times-News City Editor Stephanie McClellan said Friday. “Our readers continue to prove that ours is a very generous region when it comes to helping others. While the dollar value of the food each family receives might not sound like much to most of us, even this relatively small amount of extra food can mean a great deal to these families.  We are often humbled by the gratitude we’ve seen and heard from them over the years. We also are humbled and thankful for the continuous generosity of the region we cover. Our readers have always stepped up and helped us reach our goal each year, in some cases even exceeding it. We’re confident this year they will not let us or the Rescue Fund’s recipients down.”

Money donated to the Rescue Fund provides a little extra food to families in need across our region, primarily through delivery by the Kingsport Salvation Army of boxes of food items.

The Rescue Fund helps families in Lee, Wise and Scott counties in Virginia and Sullivan and Hawkins counties in Tennessee. Recipients are screened by the Salvation Army and other social-service organizations. This year, a majority of the estimated 1,200 families who will receive assistance through the Rescue Fund received boxes of food purchased, packaged and delivered by the Salvation Army. Some recipients, in areas that make delivery of such boxes a challenge, received vouchers to purchase groceries.

Most of the families the Rescue Fund helps have fallen on hard times due to either catastrophic illness within the family or the loss of a job. The Salvation Army in recent years has reported families who once were donors were coming forward to seek help because those types of situations had altered their own families’ financial security.

One of the families served this year and featured in an earlier story were living in barely habitable mobile home with no refrigerator.

“It’s rough, not just month to month, but we have to go day by day just to get enough to eat,” the family matriarch said over the sound of her son’s power saw making headway on something somewhere in the trailer.

“We did have a porch, but we finally had to take it off because it was so rotted,” said her daughter. “You could have fell right through it and broke your neck. It got so nobody wanted to set foot on that porch. It was bad. Real bad.”

“Christmas is going to be hard, sure,” said the mother.

“Honestly, if it wasn’t for (some relatives) we wouldn’t have had a Thanksgiving dinner,” said the daughter.

Tax-deductible donations can be made to Times-News Rescue Fund, 701 Lynn Garden Drive, Kingsport, TN 37660.

A receipt will be mailed, and the donation will be listed in the Times-News in your name, anonymously, or in someone’s honor or memory.

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