ELIZABETHTOWN — Three gifts totaling $400 came in early in the week and raised the Empty Stocking Fund coffers to $2,215.
The Bladen Journal’s annual effort to bring a brighter Christmas to many of the county’s low-income families, has less than a week to go. The monetary collection will come to a close on Wednesday.
“We have a long way to go, but I’m hoping a big push will come as the deadline approaches,” said W. Curt Vincent, general manager and editor of the Bladen Journal. This is a generous community, so I am confident we will finish strong.”
A total of 12 gifts have been received so far. They are:
— Cain Family Dinner, $200
— Beth Car Presbyterian Church (Tar Heel) Women’s Circle, $100
— Anonymous, $100
— Kenneth & Gwen Thompson of Bladenboro, $25
— Andrew & Adrianne Petitt of Bladenboro, $100
— Adult Sunday School class at Beth Car Presbyterian Church in Tar Heel, $300
— Anonymous, $40
— In honor of Barbara L. McKoy, $200
— Anonymous, $500
— Phillip & Debi Warwick of Elizabethtown, $200
— Clarkton Lions Club, $50
— Classic Cruisers Car Club, $400
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. This year’s effort has an unusual twist.
“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, but they better hurry.”
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 challenged individuals, businesses, church groups, school groups and civic organizations to consider supporting the Empty Stocking Fund effort with a donation of any size.
Donations can be made by sending a check to “Empty Stocking Fund” 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.