ELIZABETHTOWN — A flurry of last-moment gifts poured into the Bladen Journal for the Empty Stocking Fund early this week.
Wednesday was the last official day for donations — though monetary donations will still be accepted for use next season — to the effort that teams up with the Bladen County Department of Social Services to steer gift cards to families needing a little extra help making Christmas merrier for their children.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, a total of eight gifts were received totaling $1,261. That brings the final tally to $7,557 this year, good enough to assist about 175 children in the county.
“We’re happy — Bladen County really stepped up again,” said W. Curt Vincent, general manager and editor of the Bladen Journal. “Although they missed out on getting me up to the roof for 24 hours, I’m sure that’s going to happen soon enough.”
Vincent had set a goal of $12,000 collected to get him on the roof of the Bladen Journal for 24 hours the weekend before Christmas, but the collections fell $4,413 short.
The Bladen Journal will now turn the money donated into gift cards for Leinwand’s and Walmart — those gift cards will be distributed to the families selected by DSS on Wednesday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the newspaper office in downtown Elizabethtown. Families who will receive the gifts have been called and must bring a photo ID with them on Wednesday.
The overall list of gifts received were:
— Ray’s, Inc. of Elizabethtown, $100
— Beth Car Presbyterian Church in Tar Heel, $600
— Richard and Laurie Smith of White Oak, $100
— Cephus Beatty of Dublin, $50
— Chandler, Ellie and Emma Wall of Elizabethtown, $100
— Charles and Catherine Devane of Elizabethtown, $100
— Jean Gallant of Elizabethtown, $50
— Specialty Product Technologies of Elizabethtown, $161
— Paul and Elizabeth Albritton of Wilmington, $100
— Trinity Methodist Men’s Club, $2,500
— In memory of Margie Evans, $100
— Star Telephone, $1,281
— Phoebe P. McGavock, $100
— 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
“We want to thank all of those who gave to this year’s Empty Stocking Fund,” Vincent said. “The staff of the newspaper appreciates the generosity — and we always look forward to playing Santa for all of the children your donations will benefit.”