Fundraiser held to help children in Catoosa County

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — Thousands of people came together at the AT&T Field in downtown Chattanooga to support the Second Annual Children’s Fund on Saturday.

Officials say last year the Catoosa County Children’s Fund spent $23,000 and helped over 200 families in need.

Over $6,500 was raised before noon.

The event is geared towards with helping families with short term needs, like food, clothing and shelter. The goal this year is to raise $15,000.

One organizer says she helped coordinate a project that helped research and bring awareness to children who are homeless.

Through that research, it was found that over 300 children were classified as homeless in Catoosa County.

She then helped put together an event, which brought in over $30,000 last year.

She says with support from the Children’s Fund, many do get the help they need to get back on their feet.

Katie Sponberger is the Catoosa County Economic Development Coordinator. She recalls, “…he said that he wouldn’t have had money to partipate in graduation actives. He wouldn’t have had money to buy his graduation cap or robe or anything like that. He got help tutoring and he actually ended up going to the technical college.”

Sue Mason is a Catoosa County school social worker who has been working in the community for over 38 years.

She says when the housing market crashed, many people lost their jobs at the local carpet factory.

That’s when resources began to strain.

Mason says, “When I first started out in the profession, churches and organizations were usually able to meet the needs of the community. As the population grew and the need grew, it just started overwhelming the local organizations.”

Mason says the need has grown by a third over the last few years.

She says support from the Children’s Fund help keep hundreds of families off the streets.

Mason says since there is currently no homeless shelter in Catoosa County, families live in motels.

With help from the Children’s fund, many are able to move into an apartment.

Categories: Catoosa County, Chattanooga, Local News