On the heels of last week’s kickoff to the annual Empty Stocking Fund with the Classic Cruisers Car Club’s donation of $400, things have gone as cold as Mother Nature at midnight.
But the Bladen Journal staff knows it’s still early.
“It’ll pick up, we’re sure,” said W. Curt Vincent, general manager and editor of the newspaper. “With Thanksgiving this week, we know folks are focused more on travel and getting together with family.
“We just hope things start to pick up next week, when things get back to somewhat normal,” he added.
The Empty Stocking Fund is a community effort aimed at making Christmas a happier day for as many children of low-income families as possible.
Last year the effort brought in a total of $7,578 which, in the end, managed to benefit more than 150 local children for Christmas.
“We’re really hoping to be able to push that number to 200 children,” Vincent said, “but it will require a real commitment from the community to reach that number. We’ve done it before.”
He also added his usual twist to the donations.
“Personally, I’m putting the number of $12,000 out there as the amount that will put me on the Bladen Journal roof for 24 hours,” Vincent added. “I’ve tried to entice the public to send me up there every year — perhaps this is the year they can do it.”
He said the 24-hour period would be from 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 22, to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 24.
Vincent urged individuals, businesses, church groups, school groups and civic organizations to consider supporting the Empty Stocking Fund effort with a donation of any size. The collection is now underway and will continue through Wednesday, Dec. 13.
Donations can be made by sending a check to “Empty Stocking Fun” and mailed to P.O. Box 70, Elizabethtown, N.C. 28337; or bringing a cash donation to the Bladen Journal office at 138 W. Broad St. in downtown Elizabethtown. With advance notice, a donation can also be picked up by calling 910-862-4163.
Those who donate $250 or more will have the opportunity to have a photo taken for publication in the Bladen Journal. All donations will be listed in the newspaper as they are received, and donations can be made anonymously or in memory of someone.
How to apply
Applications for the Empty Stocking Fund are now being accepted only at the Bladen County Department of Social Services, located at 208 McKay St. in Elizabethtown, during regular business hours.
The Bladen Journal will not have applications available, and the newspaper staff does not select recipients for Empty Stocking Fund benefits.
DSS will accept applications through Thursday, Nov. 30.