East Tennessee charitable organizations need volunteers

East Tennessee charitable organizations need volunteers

Posted:
A small army of volunteers in West Knoxville sorted and prepared around 8,000 toys for the Toys for Tots program Friday afternoon. They still need volunteers. A small army of volunteers in West Knoxville sorted and prepared around 8,000 toys for the Toys for Tots program Friday afternoon. They still need volunteers.
Meanwhile, people have until December 15 to help with the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program, which matches donors with children from qualified families unable to provide gifts and clothing. Meanwhile, people have until December 15 to help with the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program, which matches donors with children from qualified families unable to provide gifts and clothing.
The Salvation Army says help is really needed at its distribution center where the toys are located. The Salvation Army says help is really needed at its distribution center where the toys are located.

By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The holiday season is a time for giving, and many folks want to go beyond just giving presents. They want to celebrate the season by volunteering their time.

So what's the right way to do it? And which organizations would benefit the most from your help?

A small army of volunteers in West Knoxville sorted and prepared around 8,000 toys for the Toys for Tots program Friday afternoon.

Organizers say they have enough toys, but what they need now is help to make sure the toys get to the nearly 3,000 families who will receive them.

Toys for Tots' first distribution day is Friday.

"When the families come in and show their IDs, we know what bags go to them, just helping to make the process go faster," said Marine Sgt. Gregory Schuster.

Meanwhile, people have until December 15 to help with the Salvation Army's Angel Tree program, which matches donors with children from qualified families unable to provide gifts and clothing.

The Salvation Army says help is really needed at its distribution center where the toys are located.

"We need volunteers to help us manage, organize the gifts. People will donate bicycles, but they're un-assembled, so we need people to assemble bicycles, and get them ready," said Salvation Army Major Alberto Villafuerte..

The Salvation Army says it also needs volunteers for its Christmas kettles.

Mobile Meals needs volunteers as well, to help deliver meals to 500 seniors who can't cook for  themselves and have no one else on which to depend.

They also want people to donate gifts to go along with the meals.

"They just need toiletries and things that are easy to take to the homes, but yes, we can always take gifts," said Susan Long, director of the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee Office on Aging.

The CAC is looking for volunteers in other ways including help to transport seniors around town for holiday shopping and errands, and volunteers for a program to help move furniture and fix up seniors homes.

"We can always use some men, especially some college-aged men who are strong and might have a truck to help us deliver things to some of our recipients homes," said Long.

Toys for Tots will have distribution days on Dec. 7 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Dec. 11 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Dec. 14 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Interested volunteers can go a facility where the toys will be distributed located at 3501 Workman Road, Suite B. Knoxville, TN 37921. Toys for Tots has closed registration for families to receive toys.

You can call the Knoxville-Knox County Community Action Committee Office on Aging at (865) 524-2786 to ask about volunteering.

To volunteer with the Salvation Army, you can call (865) 525-9441.

Distribution day for the Salvation Army is on Friday, November 20.  The Salvation Army asks that all gifts, clothing and toys be turned in by December 15.

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