On Monday as staff at the Department of Social Services spent all day doing the hard work of taking applications for the Empty Stocking Fund, The Robesonian began the most pleasant task of collecting money to see how many children can benefit.
Mark 12 off the list — or maybe 10.
We aren’t sure yet as DSS officials and this newspaper have left open the idea of bumping the voucher amount to $60 this year. We are hedging because we want to know how many of those whose applications were taken yesterday are found eligible to receive help.
The decision to perhaps bump the amount is because we had the happy problem last year of raising $85,899.20, which provided Christmas for all the children registered, 1,465 children — and left $12,196.30 that will be used this year. We were surprised at last year’s success in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, but know the fund benefitted by people who wanted to help our county through a difficult holiday season.
So after all the applications are verified and dollars counted we will see if there is enough to bump the voucher amount.
As has become tradition, Allen Faircloth, president of the Robeson Regional Agricultural Fair, is at the head of the line with a $500 donation, and we also have a $100 donation from a local book club.
We have started collecting money before Thanksgiving in an attempt to get a good headstart on what we hope will be another successful campaign.
Unlike last year, we are back in our building on Roberts Avenue so we encourage you to come by and make a donation in person. If you want one, ask for Donnie Douglas, editor, and if he is available he will give you a tour of our refurbished building.
Checks can also be mailed to Empty Stocking Fund, 2175 Roberts Ave., Lumberton, N.C., 28358.
As in the past, we will publish photographs with gifts of $500 or more when that request is made. To give yourself the best chance of that photograph appearing on page 1A, get your donation in early.
The vouchers can be redeemed at Roses, either the Lumberton store or the one in Fairmont. We will announce as soon as possible the number of children deemed eligible to receive vouchers.
The fund has raised more than $1.4 million since 1996.
Previous total ….. $00.00
1. Robeson Regional Agricultural Fair….. $500
2. Reviewers Book Club…………………………$100
New total …………………… $600