Christmas is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year, but for some families,  putting toys under the tree or a Christmas ham on the table can be stressful. 

To help East Tennessee families, several agencies, like Toys for Tots and Second Harvest Food Bank, collect donations. 

“It’s kind of a fun time during the holidays to give back to the local community,” said Sgt David Metts. “I think each local community doesn’t get to see Marines that much, they kind of just see you on tv or something like that, so, it’s kind of fun with a small staff to give back to the community.”

The US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program provides two new, unwrapped toys to kids for Christmas. 

Toys are given to kids from newborn to age 14 and families can apply for toys until November 15. To request a toy go to

Other organizations help provide Christmas dinner. Second Harvest Food Bank acts as a distribution center for hundreds of agencies. It provides assistance to people in 18 counties.

“We are ordering turkeys, we are ordering hams, we are ordering everything you think should go in a holiday meal,” said Elaine Streno with the food bank.  “So, we are very busy starting in September trying to get what the agencies need for their program.”

Second Harvest helps with hundreds of programs. To find one go to their website other programs local agencies are providing assistance as well. 

You can apply for the Salvation Army’s Christmas Assistance through November 1 in Knoxville. The Empty Stocking Fund will be taking applications until Saturday, Dec 1.