11/22/09 — For the children: Empty Stocking Fund shares holiday joys with needy

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For the children: Empty Stocking Fund shares holiday joys with needy

There is nothing sadder than a child who cannot believe in Santa Claus anymore because his or her Christmas wish has gone unanswered so many times.

And what makes the children who are part of the annual Empty Stocking Fund party every year so special is that they do not really wish for much. Some ask for new clothes, while others implore Santa not to forget a little brother or sister. And still others want to make sure their mother or father has a gift under the holiday tree.

That's the norm, not the exception, on that December day each year.

Some of those who come to pick out their toy look with wonder-filled eyes at the pile from which they can choose. Then, they head to Santa Claus to collect their stocking full of treats, while clutching their new set of clothes.

And every once in a while, one of them will try to contribute something -- "for the needy children."

It is not possible to be a non-believer when you see the lines of children waiting for their turn to come up on the stage to claim their gift. There is magic in the air, and Christmas spirit abounds.

When the party is over, you will remember just what this holiday is supposed to be all about -- giving.

And this year, giving to those who are less fortunate is particularly important.

There are more families in need. The economy has pushed many into the "poor" category, leaving them without jobs, food or hope. It is not easy for many of them to ask for help. They have never been in this situation before. That is why we need your help more than ever this year.

If those of us who have not had to face the heartbreak of wondering where our next meal is going to come from shared just a little bit of our good fortune with others, there would be more smiles than sadness on this Christmas holiday.

Please join us in our effort to bring Christmas to as many needy children as possible this year. Any amount of money will be appreciated. We know from past years that this county does not hesitate to open its heart to anyone in need.

Send your tax-deductible contribution to The Empty Stocking Fund, P.O. Box 10629, Goldsboro, N.C. 27532.

And be sure to include a dedication, a memorial or a greeting to someone you care about -- that is our gift to you for helping us make this party possible.

And thank you. We could not do it without all of you.

Published in Editorials on November 22, 2009 12:19 AM