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Local churches and groups working to help families in need during the holiday

From foster care children to those who cannot afford a mask, East Tennessee churches and groups are trying to help where they can.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — As Christmas draws closer local organizations and churches are doing what they can to help.

"This year has obviously been very trying," Melissa Cox with Compassion Closet said. 

Compassion Closet is a 100% donation based organization that helps foster parents get what they need to take care of children in the foster care system. 

"We're handling foster families locally and kids that are in a residential facility," Cox said. 

This year she said while they are trying to help others they need a little help too.

"We still are getting some donations but we need more for kids," she said. 

So how can you help? Well you can buy an ornament from one of their donation trees.

Credit: wbir

"Basically people can take an ornament go buy that item and take it back to the business," she said. 

She is talking about things like diapers, socks and presents.

"Then we collect them typically the week before Christmas," Cox added. 

If you can't do that you can always order something on their amazon wish list.

But if you can't donate money and know how to work a sewing needle, you may be able to help out the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church.

"We're still gonna have the holiday season, we've just got to be creative this year," Reverend Jake Morrill said.

For 10 years they've collected mittens on a tree but of course 2020 will look a little different. 

Credit: wbir

"This year we wanted to add masks to make sure everyone can mask up and stay safe," he said. 

So if you are in need or looking to lend a helping holiday season, both groups would be happy to count you in.

"The service doesn't stop...the building is closed but the ministry is still going on," Morrill said.