Special to The SWT
As the holiday season approaches, many families and individuals are already busy making plans. Menus are being prepared, guest lists are being written and decorations are being bought. Thanksgiving has always been thought of as a time for togetherness, happiness and harvest of plenty. Unfortunately, for some in southwest Virginia, this can be a time of sadness.
Due to the recession, job loss and economic stressors, this once happy holiday, for some in our community, is just another reminder of how life has changed. There will be those who won’t have loved ones to celebrate with or food to line their tables.
With the Thanksgiving holiday drawing near, there are still ways that you can ensure a happy holiday for families in our area, as well as receiving assistance during this time.
For the past four years, the United Way has partnered with the Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program, Radford-Fairlawn Daily Bread and Floyd County Emergency Assistance Program for food drives to provide holiday meal boxes or supplies for families in need. “For those wanting assistance, I would advise them to contact one of our partners to be screened,” said Justina Sumpter, marketing and development manager for the United Way, “I would also urge donors who are interested in taking part to contact us. It takes a lot of people and is a big collaboration effort.” Sumpter also explained that volunteers to pack the meal boxes are a great asset during this effort.
Community Thanksgiving meals will be served in the area as well. The Radford-Fairlawn Daily Bread, Pulaski Daily Bread and some area churches will be taking part during this holiday week. “We will provide meal boxes for six families. The Salvation Army has signed up over 100 people for food boxes through their office located at our church each Tuesday. The Dream Center (Dora Hwy-Old Share Building) is passing out boxes at the end of the month,” explains Pastor Desmond Barrett, pastor of New Life Church of the Nazarene in Pulaski, “Other churches may be offering meals onsite after service, like ours is.”
New River Community Action (NRCA) is an area organization that helps to provide for individuals and families, not only for Thanksgiving, but throughout the year. Their assistance can help with food supplies (once a month) and also some clothing, personal hygiene items, shelter and utility costs. However, their available resources strictly depend on donor participation and resources can be limited at times.
For more information on ways you can help in the community, or receive help, please contact the following organizations for details:
Montgomery County Emergency Assistance Program, 540-381-1561;
Radford-Fairlawn Daily Bread, 540-639-0290; Pulaski Daily Bread,
540-980-2131; New Life Church of the Nazarene, 540-980-2001; Floyd County Emergency Assistance Program, 540-745-2102, and United Way of Montgomery, Radford, and Floyd 540-381-2066. You may also contact any of the local New River Community Action offices in Floyd, 540-745-2102; Montgomery County, 540-382-6186; Giles, 540-921-2146; Radford, 540-731-3663, ext. 3029, and Pulaski, 540-980-5525.