‘Chimes’ ready to ring as season of giving arrives

‘Chimes’ ready to ring as season of giving arrives
By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
Christmas is two months from today, and Chimes for Charity is already counting down.
The Chimes office opens Monday and the next two months will be a flurry of activity.
Chimes for Charity — sponsored by the Union City Jaycees and J’Cettes and supported by community contributions — is going into its 78th year of providing food, clothing and toys to less fortunate families at Christmas.
This year’s goal is $55,000, an increase of $5,000 over last year’s goal.
“I am very excited to start this fund-raising campaign,” 2012 Chimes chairman Justin Stokes said. “The Chimes program serves the neediest children and families in Obion County. We have a long history of attaining our goal and I know that this year will be no exception.
“We depend on our local merchants, civic organizations and individual supporters and they have always come through. Especially this year it seems that people have given tirelessly of both time and money. Now, we here at Chimes are seeking help for needy individuals to make their holiday season a little brighter this Christmas, and I am confident that this year’s drive will be a success,” he added.
Stokes said the local school systems also play a vital role in the Chimes program, particularly the principals and faculty members who help ensure the youngest of those in need receive assistance through Chimes’ annual shopping tour.
“The neediest children of the schools are dependent upon their help in order to ensure that their names make the list for the Chimes shopping tour,” he explained.
Chimes plans to serve 340 of the county’s neediest children this year during the children’s shopping tour, with $75 to $120 to be spent on each child, depending on their age. The shopping tour will be Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. at Walmart Supercenter in Union City, and the Jaycees and J’Cettes will once again depend heavily on volunteers from the community to assist.
Both families and individuals in need will benefit from food baskets to be delivered on Christmas Eve morning, with Chimes needing volunteers from the community to help with sorting, packing and delivery of the baskets. They will include 275 family baskets and 75 single-family baskets for a total of 350.
This year’s sorting of items for the baskets will be held at 1 p.m. Dec. 22 — a Saturday this year — at the county school bus garage in Troy, followed by packing on Dec. 23 — a Sunday — at 1 p.m. at the bus garage. The delivery will begin at 7 a.m. on Christmas Eve, with routes to be announced at the packing.
“We are hoping people will go to church, go out to eat and then join us at the bus garage to pack the 350 baskets that will be delivered on Christmas Eve morning,” said Nell Garrigan, J’Cettes Chimes chairman.
Many volunteers find the basket delivery to be the most special part of the Chimes program, according to organizers.
“Anyone who has not ever been on the delivery route really needs to try and attend this year,” Ms. Garrigan said. “You really touch the lives of some of the neediest people in Obion County on these delivery routes and, in return, you are really touched yourself.”
The Chimes office will begin accepting food basket applications for families or individuals when the office opens Monday. The applications will be accepted through noon Nov. 21.
The Chimes office will be open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon. The office number is 885-2098.
Chimes may also be contacted by email at chimesforcharity@yahoo.com.
Donations to Chimes for Charity may be mailed to P.O. Box 661, Union City, TN 38281. Any local business interested in being a drop-off location for canned goods, non-perishable food items or toys should call the Chimes office.
Chimes will benefit from several fundraisers planned in the coming weeks and will receive a major boost from its annual radio/TV telethon — this year set for Dec. 3-6 from 6-7:30 nightly at Second Baptist Church in Union City. The program will feature local entertainment and will be broadcast on AM radio station WENK-1240 and local television channel WOBT.
Other upcoming events to be enjoyed by the community will include the Jaycees-sponsored Union City Christmas parade, followed by the community Christmas tree lighting, the evening of Nov. 26 downtown; and Chimes’ night to benefit from donations at Santa’s Village on Dec. 7 at the University of Tennessee at Martin’s ag pavilion.
“I truly believe that the Chimes program exudes the spirit of giving that dwells within each of us,” Stokes added. “I want to thank all of the supporters and volunteers who make the Chimes program successful.”
Published in The Messenger 10.25.12

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