Readers of the Times Free Press gave more than $47,098 to the annual Neediest Cases campaign over the course of the holiday season.
The fund began 100 years ago in 1914 at The Chattanooga Times newspaper. The annual campaign continued after the Times and the Chattanooga News-Free Press merged in 1999 and became the Times Free Press.
The money collected by the Neediest Cases campaign is used to help those in need who do not qualify for other types of aid. The money is collected by the newspaper and disbursed through the United Way of Greater Chattanooga.
Diane Jarvis, Neediest Cases manager at the United Way, said the fund helps many elderly, veterans, single-parent households and people with disabilities.
"In 2014, Neediest Cases helped over 300 families with needs from utility assistance, rent, prescription assistance, funeral expenses, hearing aids, transportation for cancer treatment, help in the expense of locating to permanent housing for some who would have been homeless if not for this assistance," Jarvis said.
Dr. Eileen Robertson-Rehberg, Ph.D., director of United Way programs Building Stable Lives and 211 Call Center, said, "Neediest Cases will continue to invest in the greater Chattanooga region for those individuals who hope for a better life for themselves and their families."
Any area nonprofit or 501(c)(3) can apply for Neediest Cases for their clients by calling the United Way's 211 number, Jarvis said. Clients are assessed on a case-by-case basis to ensure that the funds are being distributed in the most efficient manner.
"Neediest Cases has stepped up and provided the funding to assist vulnerable clients maintain stability during times of financial crisis due to job loss, illness, domestic violence, pregnancy or any other life altering event," Jarvis said. "The more families that remain housed, employed and get adequate health care, the stronger the community becomes."
Contact staff writer Kendi Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6592.