(WJHL) — The holidays are usually a whirlwind — buying gifts, planning parties, and traveling take the attention of a lot of people. There are some organizations that make it a priority this time of year to make sure people have not just gifts under the tree, but food on the table.
One of the more widely-known groups that help people during the holidays is the Salvation Army. Their Red Kettle Campaign is seen at stores everywhere and the Angel Tree Program helps thousands of children have gifts under the tree for Christmas, thanks to the generosity of those who adopt those Angels.
Shop With A Cop pairs kids with law enforcement for a pizza party and a shopping spree to choose a gift for themselves and their families. The organizations in Johnson City and Jonesborough work together to raise money to be able to provide an unforgettable night for both the kids and the officers who participate. Hundreds of children are helped through this organization and it helps kids have a positive experience with law enforcement.
This month, local businessman Alan Bracken decided to help Santa. St. Nick took to the air in a helicopter with help from Bracken to toss out Walmart gift cards to kids at SteppenStone Youth Treatment Center in Limestone, and at Rise Up! in Johnson City.
Two families took their grief and turned it into blessings for others with the Caraleigh and Bob Gift Drive. They collected gifts and delivered them to the Haven of Mercy in Johnson City. It’s the second year for the drive, and it’s growing.
A group of hotels got together to provide cold-weather gear for those in need. Hotels with a Heart collected donations for The Salvation Army and ETSU Health Johnson City Downtown Day Center and Clinic. The group’s goal is to collect over 500 items.