one day of hope

The community’s annual One Day of Hope has been canceled for 2021, organizers announced recently.

The annual event sees community assistance and faith organizations come together to provide free food, health screenings, clothing and more to those in need in Coffee County. Additionally, local businesses typically set up job fair booths to recruit those looking for work in the community. Local doctors, dentists and mental health care workers donate their time and services to the event, which has taken place at the Coffee County Fairgrounds each October.

Last year’s event was postponed until March of this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID cases tick up once again in the area, organizers said they were cancelling the event out of an abundance of caution.

According to Ray Marcrom, president of One Day of Hope, organizers discussed the possibility of holding a drive-through One Day of Hope event at the fairgrounds in order to keep the event going this year. However, as it became apparent that the event would not be able to properly assist all those in need with such a “limited event,” organizers instead chose to cancel the large gathering this year.

“We believe that food insecurity is being addressed in a wonderful way currently by a variety of churches, community groups and food banks such as Good Sam,” Marcrom said in an announcement on the cancellation. “Our guests tell us that their greatest needs are for children’s clothing, underwear, shoes, socks and coats, as well as work-related boots and shoes for men and women. Also, the need for dental and medical assistance continues to be an area of limited access. None of these areas could be easily addressed with a drive-through event.”

Marcrom stated One Day of Hope organizers were beginning work with the school systems to directly provide those clothing items needed by children in Coffee County. The group is also collecting hygiene items and donations for such in order to provide “hygiene bags” to the schools, food banks and other outreach efforts in Coffee County.

“This year with your generous donations and the assistance of our medical and dental volunteers, we hope to address dental and medical needs through screening requests from churches and individuals as they occur throughout the year,” Marcrom stated.

The hope, Marcrom added, was to be able to hold another One Day of Hope in October 2022, though the event would still continue to need volunteer and financial support throughout the year in order to make it happen.

“Please ask your churches to continue their financial support, their collection of hygiene items and the donation of winter coats of all sizes,” Marcrom said in the announcement. “We will send more information about activities and the need for volunteers as soon as possible. As always, we will use all the resources we receive to serve needs and to bring praise to our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Marcrom listed several ways people can still continue to support One Day of Hope without the physical event, including sharing the information about the collections and donations to local civic and church organizations; continuing to collect coats for all ages and sizes, work boots and children’s clothing and shoes; continuing to collect hygiene items such as disposable razors, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste and soap; be a volunteer and attend the next meeting, which is set for Thursday, Sept. 16; and donate financially, either as an individual or through a church.

For information on clothing collections, contact Jane Marcrom at 931-247-5791 or janemarcrom@gmail.com. For hygiene item collections questions, contact Maggie Smith at 931-607-4176 or foodmgmt@bellsouth.net.

Financial contributions are asked to be sent prior to Oct. 16 to Treasurer C.J. Thompson at P.O. Box 99, Manchester, TN 37349.

Managing Editor

Erin McCullough has won awards for her news reporting, community lifestyles and education reporting in the three years she's been a journalist. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee and currently lives in Tullahoma with her cat, Luna.

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