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Editorial: Rescue Fund — a blessing given is a blessing received

Editorial Board • Dec 19, 2019 at 3:23 PM

As of this week, the Times News Rescue Fund stands at a little more than $30,000, about $10,000 shy of last year’s donations. For the benefit of the region’s neediest families, we ask that you take some time today to send a contribution to the Rescue Fund at 701 Lynn Garden Drive, Kingsport TN 37660 or https://rescuefund.timesnews.net/.

Every dollar donated goes directly to these families. They are screened by the Salvation Army to verify that need. The administrative costs of the Rescue Fund, a nonprofit charity, are borne by the Times News.

Some of these needy families may have a small Christmas tree this year, but there will be little under it. The Rescue Fund partners with the Salvation Army to try to help. The Rescue Fund provides food vouchers, while the Salvation Army provides gifts and clothing. All of this is made possible by donations to both charities.

All donations will be listed in the newspaper, though donors may choose to remain anonymous. Many who have donated to the Rescue Fund through the years have done so in memory of a loved one.

By pulling together, we have faith that those who can, will help to bring food — and hope — to the region’s neediest families this holiday season. It’s what we have to do because it’s what we are called to do.

The Rescue Fund cannot change the circumstances of these families. But it can bring groceries into the home, giving these families extra food at this time of year when most are enjoying lives of plenty. And it can give them hope that others are thinking of them and are reaching out a hand to them.

By pulling together, we have faith that those who can help in any way will do so with whatever donation they can provide. This region has long demonstrated a community spirit by helping those most in need. As Jesus said, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

The Rescue Fund has grown considerably since its inception. It also has changed significantly in its method. For many years, actual food baskets were carefully prepared and hand-delivered to recipients. This required literally hundreds of volunteers, not to mention immense storage for the food itself and staging to fill the boxes.

In order to make the fund more efficient, we no longer buy food and deliver it. Instead, through the assistance of the Salvation Army and some other special people, the fund gives to eligible families vouchers that can be used for food only.

That change has saved the program many thousands of dollars in supplies and even more money in overhead. Because of that, and because all other aspects of managing the program are donated by the Times News and other volunteers, literally every penny you give goes to feeding the needy families, the needy children, during the holiday season.

Speaking for those children, we thank you for your help and support once again. A blessing given is a blessing received, and it is through those blessings that we hope to maintain, and perhaps even expand, the number of families reached by the Rescue Fund.

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