Belle Meade Residents Respond to Assist Families
St. Joseph of the Pines has teamed up with the Sandhills Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) to help make a difference this holiday season. St. Joseph's, along with many local churches, social service organizations, and community care and school groups to sponsor families eligible for the 2006 Empty Stocking Fund (ESF).
Each year, the ESF enables approximately 1,100 families living at the poverty level to have an enjoyable Christmas. These families are thoroughly screened by MOAA and the Moore County Department of Social Services to ensure they qualify as needy. Since the ESF is a 100 percent volunteer-run activity, all money contributed to the ESF directly benefits families needing assistance.
According to Rebecca Listrom, director of development for St. Joseph of the Pines, in order to be a successful program, each sponsor is asked to spend a minimum of $40 per person on gifts, and provide food valued at $30 for the first family member, $15 for the second, and $10 for each additional family member. For a family of four, this translates to only $225 for gifts, food, and an extra special holiday.
Listrom emphasizes that more support is needed and may be initiated in several ways. Families may be sponsored by making a contribution to St. Joseph of the Pines; the Development Department will collect funds and present one lump sum in support of the ESF. In addition, volunteers may sponsor a family by doing the shopping for gifts and food vouchers, as well as delivering these items to assigned families.
"Belle Meade residents have responded overwhelmingly in their support of the ESF, both as volunteers supporting 15 individual families and with their pocketbooks," says Bill Stockhausen, Belle Meade resident.
"While financial support is greatly needed to support a program that provides needs in excess of $200,000, volunteers are also very much necessary," says Listrom, who adds that all financial contributions will be recognized for tax purposes and all donated funds will be used to buy gifts and food vouchers for needy families. "With the help from residents at Belle Meade and the Villas, associates, and volunteers, we can make this Christmas merry and bright for the many needy families throughout Moore County."
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