12/13/08 — Wishes come true: Generosity of spirit brings Christmas to less fortunate

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Wishes come true: Generosity of spirit brings Christmas to less fortunate

The next time someone suggests that perhaps Wayne County isn't the greatest place in the world to live, take him aside and show him this article.

And, together, we will tell him what happened when in the middle of an economic downturn, the call went out that the annual Empty Stocking Fund was close to not making its goal.

Upon hearing that more than 625 children would be without Christmas without their help, Wayne County residents responded.

In a little less than seven days, more than $15,000 poured in and the fund was well within sight of its goal. And the organizers, The Goldsboro News-Argus, Goldsboro Woman's Club and The Continental Society, were reminded once again just what a special place this is and why many of us have chosen to make our homes here.

This hasn't been an easy year for anyone. Many families are scrimping and saving to make their holidays happen. But that doesn't mean that those who are lucky enough to have been able to keep their jobs and to provide for their own families were going to forget about those who couldn't.

That's not how we do things in this county. Our parents taught us better than that.

We must confess, it wasn't that much of a surprise to us that so many people opened their hearts and wallets. We have been lucky enough to witness many, many examples of selflessness and generosity in our community.

And it was not just families who opened up their checkbooks. Many local businesses responded, too. Jackson and Sons, a longtime supporter, made sure their donation reflected the extra need -- without being asked. No child should be without a Christmas, they said.

And there are many, many more people who have been a part of the success of this year's event.

We are thankful for all the donations -- from $5 to $100 and above. We know all of them were sent with the love and caring that should be a part of any Christmas season.

Just so you know it was worth it, we will share some of the highlights of this year's party.

A little boy offered Santa Skittles -- his prize possession -- to thank him for his holiday toy.

Another young woman refused to take a toy for herself. She wanted to pick something out for her little brother, who could not make the party. (We sent her home with two toys.)

And then there was the mother who had just lost her job a couple of weeks before. Your generosity made her Christmas.

We have a little ways to go to meet our goal -- a little more than $7,300 -- and we are confident we will get there. That's the kind of community we live in.

But we just wanted to take the time today to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and to thank you for helping make a few holiday wishes come true.

You can rest assured, your money was very well-spent.

Published in Editorials on December 13, 2008 11:24 PM