Local Charities Looking for Help

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Knoxville (WVLT) - The holiday season will be here before you know it and that means local charities are gearing up for what is generally their busiest time of the year.

But without donations from you their work would not be possible. Volunteer TV's Allison Hunt shows you why it's not too early to help.

Kenneth Pack lost everything in Hurricane Katrina. He was provided a home here in Knoxville for almost 10 months, but says depression made him to turn to drugs.

"Due to the drugs I was kicked out and lost my lease and everything and became homeless," says Pack.

But agencies like Volunteer Ministries Center are helping him back on his feet.

"We believe firmly that people change, when they are helped to change through a caring, professional relationship," says Ginny Weatherstone, from Volunteer Ministries.

"If it wasn't for the staff here helping me, think better, providing everything I need, then I'd probably still be under the bridge somewhere," Pack says.

The Second Harvest Food Bank provides 7 million meals a year, and two and a half million of those meals are given over the next few months.

And to get ready for the holidays, you may have seen donation requests in your mailbox.

"The big advantage to donors for us is that we can make their money go farther because we can acquire food significantly cheaper than you can at stores," says Tom von Berg from Second Harvest.

Besides cash they're asking for 'healthy' donations like canned tuna, chicken, vegetables and peanut butter, and volunteers.

"We get very large baskets and boxes of sorted foods, we like to put them together in emergency food boxes for families that need them during the holidays," von Berg says.

And for many people like Kenneth, the help means a lot.

"It means a whole lot to be able to sit down with some of the people you know and enjoy a little bit of the comfort of feeling like home," Pack says.