Roane Co. non-profit needs last minute help funding Christmas

Roane Co. non-profit needs last minute help funding Christmas for kids

Posted:
Organizers say this shortfall is a first and it's concerning, but no matter what these children will have Christmas. Organizers say this shortfall is a first and it's concerning, but no matter what these children will have Christmas.

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

KINGSTON (WATE) - A non-profit in Roane County that's helped thousands of children have a happy Christmas over the years needs your help. In a matter of days Operation REACH will be taking hundreds of little ones Christmas shopping, but there just isn't enough money from donations in the bank.

Organizers say this shortfall is a first and it's concerning, but no matter what these children will have Christmas.

Gifts under the tree mean so much more for the Gaenslen family. Years ago they suffered job loss right before the holidays.

"My husband and I both felt at that time we didn't know where we were going to turn," said Anna Gaenslen.

They turned to Operation REACH where shopping trips have been possible for the last 38 years. Because of the non-profit children are able to buy everything from food, to clothes, to gifts for their family on Christmas.

But Operation REACH has fallen on hard times, a total of 554 children will be shopping this Saturday yet only $110,000 is in the bank.

"We've been close to the deadline before but not this much," said charity creator Bobby Collier.

Although, three weeks ago Operation REACH was in worse shape. "We've raised about $40,000 in the last three or four weeks," added Collier.

Collier says he has faith Roane County will be generous, "We've got some great folks that will give you the last penny they've got and I'm sure they have."

For the Gaenslens Operation REACH was a blessing and that's why they say they've volunteering this weekend.

"I just can't wait to see the kids' faces when they realize this is going to be a Christmas that they won't have to worry about their family and that they all can be happy," said 15-year-old Hunter Gaenslen.

If you would like to donate to Operation REACH you can visit their website by clicking here.

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