12/20/05 — Unforgettable: Gifts to Empty Stocking Fund create memories to last a lifetime

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Unforgettable: Gifts to Empty Stocking Fund create memories to last a lifetime

There were a lot of people who volunteered their time this past Saturday to make sure that the more than 600 needy children who crowded the Dillard Middle School auditorium had something to enjoy under their tree this Christmas.

The Empty Stocking Fund’s annual Christmas party was full of laughter, smiles and love, as more than 40 volunteers made certain the special guests of honor had a holiday celebration they would never forget.

From entertainment to logistics, the day went smoothly, and many Christmas wishes came true because of the many caring volunteers who decided to give up part of their holiday.

Hours of work went into choosing the gifts, filling the stockings and making the boxes of clothes that were part of the community’s holiday gift to those who are less fortunate.

And then there was the hours of set up and clean up that went along with the fun.

There is no question that without the help of those who gave up their time Saturday, the event would not have been nearly so successful.

But there was another group of heroes, too, who did not have the pleasure of actually seeing the happiness their kindness brought the children.

The hundreds of Wayne County residents who donated to the fund that paid for the party cannot imagine just how much their donations did for the morale of some families who might otherwise have had a pretty grim Christmas.

More than a few parents stopped to say thank you to the volunteers Saturday, humbly suggesting that they might not otherwise have been able to give their children a Christmas.

And then there were the hugs and thank yous from the boys and girls themselves. It is amazing how the prospect of one toy for Christmas could make the day so much brighter for some of these youngsters.

The donations made the celebration possible — and for that we, and the families, are grateful.

You have seen the names over the last few weeks. It was our pleasure to acknowledge your donations throughout the season.

What we couldn’t do was share some of the stories that accompanied those heartfelt checks and collections.

The students at Eastern Wayne Middle School raised $2,000 for the children. Several other schools also joined the cause, turning in hundreds of dollars in small bills and change as their contribution to the effort.

That is what Christmas is all about.

Hearing the stories from Saturday’s party would warm any heart.

Knowing you live in a community that could pull something like this together despite all the challenges we have faced this year should make you proud to say you are from Wayne County.

Published in Editorials on December 20, 2005 11:15 AM