LUMBERTON — The Department of Social Services will take applications for help from the Empty Stocking Fund at its building on N.C. 711 from 8:15 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Nov. 20. In some years, applications have been taken over a two-day period, but this year applications will be accepted on a single day.
This year’s fund will provide a $50 voucher to each child in an eligible family that can be redeemed at Roses or Kmart to purchase Christmas gifts. Children between the ages of 1 and 13 are eligible. Families who benefited from the fund last year are not eligible to receive help this year.
Money to pay for the vouchers is raised each year by The Robesonian, which has participated in the effort for about 35 years, during which more than $1 million has been raised to benefit poor children in Robeson County during Christmas. Last year the fund raised slightly less than $50,000, which benefited almost 1,000 children.
The Robesonian will begin taking donations for the fund on Nov. 27. Donations can be make in person at The Robesonian at 2175 N. Roberts Ave., or by mailing a check to the newspaper, c/o Empty Stocking Fund, The Robesonian, P.O. Box 1028, Lumberton, NC 28359.
The Robesonian will list the names of contributors each day on the front page. A photograph can be published to accompany donations of $500 or more. This year an anonymous benefactor has agreed to donate $25 as a match for every gift of $10 or more, with a cap on the donation of $5,000.