Local charities ramp up for holidays

Amanda Bledsoe

A. Bledsoe

Good Shepherd AMANDAThis time of year can be very difficult for families who don’t have everything they need to get through the holiday season, but there are many ways churches and organizations around the Kings district are helping out.

Several charities include Joshua’s Place, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, and Shared Harvest FoodBank. All of these organizations have programs designed to assist people and families throughout the hectic holiday season.

Joshua’s Place is located South Lebanon and offer year-round food assistance. For Thanksgiving, they served over 100 meals and plan on providing 80 children with presents this Christmas, said Executive Director Kevin Peyton.

Peyton said his organization’s impact is important not only for the people they are helping, but also for the volunteers

“For those with stable environments it helps them appreciate the blessings they have,” he said. “It helps to raise awareness.”

Good Shepherd Lutheran Church also kicks into gear during the holidays with a program called “Shop for Tots” (pictured above).

Each year around the holiday season Good Shepherd’s high-school-age members use money they have raised from fundraisers to help children buy gifts for their families.

“I think the volunteers feel satisfaction and pride in knowing that they helped someone else have a joyous Christmas,” said Jen Jarmen, director of the tots program. “I also think that people get a sense of what is means to serve others and not necessarily expect anything in return”

Finally, Shared Harvest FoodBank’s mission is to distribute food to people living in poverty through different outlets and to raise awareness of hunger in the community.

Shared Harvest has tons of programs and food drives to help out the community and alleviate poverty including, commodity supplemental food program which gives out over 35 pounds of nutritional food for people over 60 living under the poverty line and the Back pack program which provides food over the weekend for children who have been identified of having food insecurities at home.

Shared Harvest has many other educational and food programs for anyone who is in need over the holiday season.

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