Mother with special needs kids turns to HHF

Editor’s Note: The name of the Holiday Hope Fund recipient has been changed to protect the identity of the family.

Veronica, a single mother of four, is struggling to make ends meet on her minimal income as a private housekeeper.

Three of her children have special needs, which amplifies her struggles. Veronica’s children are participating in virtual schooling due to susceptible immune systems. This is complicated by the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Further complicating things, Veronica is unable to work steadily, which means she is unable to provide the Christmas her children desire and deserve.

According to Veronica, the two boys, ages 11 and 7, enjoy science and geology. The younger daughters, ages 2 and 4, often play with musical toys.

Fortunately, this family has been approved for the Citizen Tribune Holiday Hope Fund this year, which will come as a big help to Veronica and provide peace of mind for Christmas the way it should be, with a Christmas meal and presents under the tree for the children.

The Citizen Tribune’s Holiday Hope Fund is administered through Hamblen County Central Services. More than 1,500 families in Hamblen County were helped by the fund last year and around the same amount of families will be helped this year as well. Those families will receive a HHF food box including a turkey breast, fresh apples, oranges, potatoes, rolls, macaroni and cheese, brownie mix, sugar, flour, canned green beans, canned corn, canned peas and pinto beans. The box contains multiples of some of these items and the fresh produce comes bagged.

Toys will be given to young children of these families through the Angel Tree fund. Those wanting to continue to help a family can find Angel Trees at Walmart, National Fitness Center and other area businesses.

There are many ways to donate to the Holiday Hope Fund. Those wishing to donate online can go to and click on the Holiday Hope Fund button on the main page or on the Central Services website at Other online options include PayPal, MasterCard, Visa and other credit cards. You can donate at the table at College Square Mall near Kohl’s at the children’s play area or online at