ELIZABETHTOWN — After a strong start that saw more than $1,200 pour into the coffers of the Bladen Journal’s annual Empty Stocking Fund, the past week has seen the spigot turned to a drip.
Only one gift — and anonymous check for $20 — was received, nudging the overall total of the Fund to $1,230.
The Bladen Journal has partnered with the Elizabethtown-White Lake Area Chamber of Commerce for this year’s Empty Stocking Fund in an effort to get the word deeper into the business community for support.
“This is somewhat of a rebound year for us,” said W. Curt Vincent, general manager/editor of the newspaper. “After seeing more than $13,000 contributed recently, we fell to less than $8,000 last year.”
The goal for the 2015 version of the Empty Stocking Fund has been optimistically set at $12,000 — but there is also a twist.
“If we somehow manage to top the $15,000 mark, then I will camp out on the roof of the Bladen Journal from Friday afternoon through Sunday afternoon on Christmas weekend,” Vincent said. “I think $15,000 is totally reachable because Bladen County folks are generous when it comes to helping others.”
The Empty Stocking Fund collects money from the community and, with the help of Bladen County Department of Social Services, distributes what is collected to those needy families in the county who otherwise wouldn’t have a bright Christmas. Gift cards to Walmart and/or Leinwand’s are handed out on a specific day prior to Christmas at the Bladen Journal office.
The Bladen Journal is hoping to assist more than 200 children this year.
To contribute to this year’s Empty Stocking Fund, donations can be dropped off at the Bladen Journal office in downtown Elizabethtown or mailed to: Empty Stocking Fund, c/o Bladen Journal, P.O. Box 70, Elizabethtown, N.C. 28358. The donations will be accepted through Wednesday, Dec. 9.