There are many things we have come to depend on with the annual Empty Stocking Fund, and literally at the top of that list is that the Robeson Regional Agricultural Fair’s board will be first in line to make a donation to the effort to provide Christmas gifts for needy children in Robeson County.
Last week Allen Faircloth, president of the fair board, dropped by with a $500 donation, allowing us to immediately check 10 children off a list of 1,465 who have been vetted and approved by the staff at the Department of Social Services.
That puts a brick into a really large wall that needs to be constructed, leaving us $72,750 short of our goal of having enough money to provide for all the qualified children, something we managed last year for just one of the few times in the history of the fund, which has spanned five decades.
With that in mind, each day this year we will add a new feature, a running total of not only the amount of money raised, but the amount needed to reach our goal.
Because Hurricane Matthew flooded our office at 2175 Roberts Ave. and rehabilitation work is ongoing there, our staff is spread out, so there are two places to donate in person to the fund.
One is at our old office on Roberts Avenue, where a trailer is stationed. Ask for Clarissa Jackson.
The other is a 325 E. Fourth St. in downtown Lumberton, which is now home to our News, Circulation and Advertising departments. Ask for either Tammy Oxendine or Amanda Revels. As always, checks can be mailed to The Robesonian, c/o 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.
Staff at the Department of Social Services will use the money to provide a $50 voucher for each eligible child that can be redeemed at Roses, either the Lumberton store or the one in Fairmont. In years past, they could be redeemed at Kmart in Lumberton, but that store has closed.
Previous total ….. $00.00
1. Robeson Regional Agricultural Fair….. $500
New total …………………… $500