JOY at CHRISTMASTIME
Christmas Joy 2021
2021 has come and gone and the effects of COVID-19 are still very much apparent. Residents of Scott County, as well as people all over the country, are still losing time at work, getting behind on their rent, mortgages, and utilities, accumulating added expenses by way of medical bills, and it is taking its toll on the family unit. Appalachian Life Quality Initiative a/k/a ALQI tries its best to fill in the gaps with services available to it. ALQI also partners with both school systems and other nonprofits in the community as well as individual donors to help with the needs of those in dire straits when possible. These partnerships have proven to be invaluable during these very difficult, economically challenging times.
Amid the continuing struggles caused by poverty and disadvantaged circumstances made more difficult by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Christmas was on its way again. What a lot of us consider to be one of the most wonderful times of the year, others saw yet another way they would disappoint their families, their children in particular. People were (and still are) struggling. ALQI once again applied for a grant from Laura J. Kress Angel Tree Fund of East Tennessee Foundation and was awarded $5,000.00! Words cannot describe what a blessing this grant was!!
Kathy West and a few awesome volunteers headed to Wal-Mart with the children’s wish lists in hand (lists were obtained from parents and guardians) and shopped. Again, because of COVID-19, ALQI did not have an “event” for parents to pick up gifts for their children. Instead, each family was given an appointment to come pick up purchases; and if transportation was an issue, presents were delivered.
Fifty-Four (54) children, ranging in age from newborn to age 18, from twenty-two (22) families had presents under their Christmas trees to open Christmas morning. With donations received from Mission of Hope and other private monetary donations, ALQI was able to provide each child $100.00 in gifts. Through a partnership with Oneida Schools Family Resource Center, the children and their families also had all the ingredients to prepare the very own Christmas dinners. All of this was made possible by the grant funding received from Laura J. Kress Angel Tree Fund of East Tennessee Foundation and the elves who volunteered their time to shop, short toys and pack bags, sort and pack food boxes, and deliver when necessary.
THANK YOU seems so inadequate for the blessings that were received due to the generosity of Laura J. Kress Angel Tree Fund of East Tennessee Foundation, nevertheless, THANK YOU!!