TRI-CITIES, Tenn. (WJHL) – Ahead of the holiday season, local charities are asking for donations as part of the national Giving Tuesday campaign.
Several non-profits said this holiday season will be tougher than most on the area’s needy, as inflation pushes prices higher.
“We are seeing people showing up on our doorsteps daily who have never reached out and asked for help,” said Aaron Murphy, CEO of Good Samaritan Ministries in Johnson City.
The highlight of Good Sam’s end-of-year donation push is the annual Hope for the Holidays campaign. Murphy said he’s hopeful Giving Tuesday can help them reach an $80,000 goal to provide families in need with food and gifts this holiday season.
“We’re looking for all kinds of ways that our community members can give,” Murphy said. “Via monetarily, non-perishable food items or come in to volunteer. This is a day and a time for the community to get involved.”
Good Samaritan Ministries also provides rent and utility assistance, which has seen increased demand as energy bills rise in cold weather.
At Second Harvest Food Bank in Kingsport, volunteers are working to address food insecurities across the Tri-Cities. It’s a need that has to be constantly addressed, so their goal is to get as many donations, both food and monetary, as they can.
“Second Harvest serves over 45,000 people a month with food,” said Kathy Smith of the food bank. “It takes a lot of food and a lot of packing for us to get that done, so monetary donations for us to obtain the food and then volunteers are needed to pack the food boxes.”
United Way of East TN Highlands is aiming for $30,000 in donations on Giving Tuesday for its Social Innovation Fund. That program provides grants to existing charities that use technology to expand or create new programs.
Executive Director Leslie Salling said much of the organization’s work involves getting people wanting to help in areas of need.
“We are more than happy to talk to them,” Salling said. “What is their passion? What do they like to do? And then connect them to what meets that need for them and for the non-profit.”
Salling said it has never been more important to give and help out the less fortunate.
“We’re hoping to help supplement that through our non-profits, where they can get just a little help to go from surviving to thriving,” Salling said.
To learn about volunteering or donating at these non-profits, you can go to the following websites: