ELIZABETHTOWN — The ongoing recovery following Hurricane Matthew and the Thanksgiving holiday has slowed the contributions for this year’s Empty Stocking Fund.
On Monday, three donations came to the Bladen Journal — each one an anonymous contribution. The first was a $50 donation, and then two $20 donations followed. That brings the total this year to $890 so far.
“We expected it might be slow this year because of all the devastation left behind by the hurricane,” said W. Curt Vincent, general manager/editor of the Bladen Journal. “Right now, a lot of folks are still focusing on helping others who lost so much. But we’re still hoping things will pick up for the Empty Stocking Fund, too.”
Each holiday season, the Bladen Journal staff collects monetary donations from the public — individuals, businesses, school groups, church groups and civic organizations — and, right before Christmas, gift cards to Walmart and Leinwand’s are purchased and distributed to needy families throughout Bladen County.
The goal this year is $15,000 — which will not only help more than 200 children to have a nice Christmas, but also send Vincent to the roof of the Bladen Journal for 24 hours.
On the calendar for Dec. 11, a Holiday Craft & Gift Show is being put together to benefit the Empty Stocking Fund by Tania Meares, owner of Te’s Treasures in Elizabethtown at Cape Fear Vineyard & Winery.
Meares is hoping to attract at least 20 vendors to event, which will also feature a raffle and door prizes.
“Since this is our first show, the booth fees will only be $20 and we request that each vendor donate a $10 to $15 item representing their product,” she said. “These items will be door prizes for our shoppers — or you may donate a gift card if that works best for you.”
All vendors are responsible for their own canopy, tables and chair for their booth(s).
For information, email questions to [email protected]; to register for the show, send a check made out to Te’s Treasures to 59 OP Circle, Elizabethtown, N.C. 28337.
Contributions directly to the Empty Stocking Fund can be handled in a number of ways:
— A check or cash can be delivered to the Bladen Journal office at 138 W. Broad St. in Elizabethtown during regular business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
— A check made out to Bladen Journal Empty Stocking Fund can be mailed to the Bladen Journal, P.O. Box 70, Elizabethtown, N.C. 28337.
— A Bladen Journal staff member can come by and pick up any contribution you may have during regular business hours.
The Bladen Journal will collect donations through Dec. 12 — along the way, contributions will be listed in the newspaper. Those who prefer may remain anonymous or contribute in memory of someone else.