One of the rewarding privileges that we at the Bladen Journal enjoy is our role in the annual Empty Stocking Fund project, which allows us to connect the generous with the needy so that children in this community don’t awaken on Christmas morning without presents to unwrap.
Our job in the Empty Stocking Fund is easy and in plain sight.
The hard work is done behind the scenes by employees with the Department of Social Services. For the past few weeks, they have been taking applications from those who are in need, and are now charged with finding the most in need and sending them our way. It is a rigorous process that can be trusted.
But before we can connect the most important dots — those between the gift cards we will supply and those whose names have been forwarded to us — there is the most important link of all: the donors.
And this year, we have been simply amazed at what some of the local folks have provided us — from the $1 bill in the jug at our office to checks totaling $1,000 and $1,200 and even $3,500.
Today we bring the collections to an unofficial end. We say unofficial because we know there are some contributions still in the mail — and every dollar will be used, either this year or next.
Our goal this year was $7,500 and is a total that has not been seen in some time. But as of Wednesday, we were already past the $7,000 mark. That not only beats what was collected last year, but also assures us of reaching our goal because of those contributions we are sure will be coming.
And we have you to thank for it. Considering that we supply each child with close to $50 in a Walmart and/or Leinwand’s gift card, that will add up to a lot of joy on Christmas Day.
Santa letters …
The Bladen Journal will be publishing children’s letters to Santa Claus in its Tuesday, Dec. 24, print edition, as well as making them available online at www.bladenjournal.com.
But time is running out to get them to us.
Letters must be submitted by email and should be limited to 75 words or less.
Also keep in mind that letters will be printed exactly as they are received — which can often make for interesting and humorous letters.
The letters must be emailed to email@example.com no later than Wednesday, Dec. 11, at 3 p.m.