Holiday donations

Struggling families need help this holiday season

Many+families+will+not+be+able+to+celebrate+Christmas+this+year%3B+high+prices+for+gifts%2C+holiday+food+and+decorations+make+it+nearly+impossible+for+many+families+to+have+the+celebration+they+want%2C+especially+with+COVID-19+causing+a+rise+in+unemployment.

Photo by Braylen Garren

Many families will not be able to celebrate Christmas this year; high prices for gifts, holiday food and decorations make it nearly impossible for many families to have the celebration they want, especially with COVID-19 causing a rise in unemployment.

Story by Katey Pappas, staff writer

As Christmas day approaches, children and families all over begin to anticipate the gifts, food and cheer that come with the holiday season. However, not every family will be able to experience these wonderful things this season. With the COVID-19 pandemic raging, unemployment rates are incredibly high. 

Many families will not be able to celebrate Christmas this year; high prices for gifts, holiday food and decorations make it nearly impossible for many families to have the celebration they want, especially with COVID-19 causing a rise in unemployment. Families everywhere need help to have a Christmas day celebration this year, and there are organizations that can help them make this happen.

Harvest Texarkana is a regional food bank in Texarkana, Ark. The food bank serves 10 counties across southwest Ark. and northeast Texas and supplies food to hundreds, if not thousands, of families. Rising unemployment, however, makes it more difficult to accomplish this. As a result, the organization needs help from the community. 

“We will take help wherever we can get it,” Development Director Jennifer Teeters said. “Volunteers and monetary donations make the biggest impact. Just one dollar can buy five and a half meals due to the purchasing power.”  

Checks can be mailed to the organization or processed online. The food bank can be contacted at 870-774-1398, and the address is 3120 E. 19th St., Texarkana, Texas. 

In addition, the Salvation Army is known for affordable used items, and among those are many toys. Parents can go here to buy gifts for their children this holiday season, but they can’t do this without the donations of others. Many children who have their name on the salvation army angel tree still won’t be getting anything for Christmas, so having these used toys available is a big help to many parents. 

“Toys can be dropped off for the forgotten angels,” a leading organizer of donations said. “Many are preteens and babies. Foods can be dropped off as well. Monetary donations are also very useful to purchase supplies with.” 

For the salvation army, checks can be mailed in or brought in person to 400 E. 4th St., Texarkana, Ark., 71854. The contact number is 870-774-2701. 

One other local center accepting donations is Temple Memorial Pediatric Center. Temple is a center providing occupational, physical, speech and behavioral therapy to children in the Texarkana area. As a non-profit organization, the center provides care to people who may not be able to afford it otherwise. Because of this, however, the organization struggles to remain afloat during these challenging times. Various forms of donations from the community would definitely help. 

“Mainly what we need is money,” speech pathologist Susan Stanley said. “We look for donations to help cover the costs, but it costs more to provide the service than the money we make.” 

Donations can be mailed to Temple Memorial Pediatric Center, 1710 Moores Lane, Texarkana, Texas 75503. They can also be processed here.

With the help of others, the holiday season can be magical for everyone. Families who have previously not been able to celebrate Christmas before may now be able to, thanks to just one donation.