Chattanooga fills backpacks for homeless, seniors’ gift stockings
By: David Ibata
Every year for more than 20 years, The Salvation Army in Chattanooga, Tennessee, has enlisted community members to brighten the Christmas holidays for their neighbors by filling gift stockings for needy seniors and backpacks for homeless residents.
This year’s campaign began Oct. 1, with 1,000 stockings and 500 backpacks available at the Chattanooga Area Command on McCallie Avenue and at two local shopping malls. As with the Angel Tree gifting program for children, donors were asked to take stockings and backpacks, fill them, and return them by Monday, Nov. 26.
The list of recommended gifts for seniors included toiletries, adult coloring books, magnifying glasses, socks and manicure sets; and for homeless persons, travel-sized hygiene supplies, flashlights, rain ponchos, lip balm and gloves.
“This year’s response has been great,” said Kimberly George, director of marketing and development for The Salvation Army in Chattanooga. “All the stockings and backpacks were taken.”
Stockings were to be distributed to seniors at holiday parties around Chattanooga starting the first week of December. Homeless persons were to receive backpacks at a Christmas Eve brunch.