Empty Stocking Fund Seeking Donations
Christmas is a special time, especially for children. Who can forget the anticipation and opening of presents? Who can forget the delight in the face of a child as he or she opens a gift? Who hasn't experienced the satisfaction of giving? Who doesn't remember a delicious Christmas dinner?
Unfortunately, not every child or parent is able to receive such gifts. The Empty Stocking Fund answers this need in a special way.
The Empty Stocking Fund of Moore County is a charitable project that begins in August of every year and continues through the end of December with the delivery of gifts and food vouchers to the neediest families of the county.
The Pinehurst Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America has sponsored the 100 percent voluntary Empty Stocking Fund of Moore County for the past nine years.
"While the core leadership team is made up of MOAA members, it is the residents and organizations of Moore County that make the program a success," says the spokesman.
"The wonderful community support system includes Lowes and Food Lion groceries, The Pilot, many large and small businesses, churches, and more than 70 individuals who serve as sponsors for the families."
The Empty Stocking Fund works hard to ensure that the neediest families in Moore County are served.
The families served live at about the official poverty level for total household income. All such families are encouraged to visit the Moore County Agricultural Building in Carthage on one of the following days:
- Wednesday, Sept. 3, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Friday, Sept. 5, 1 to 5 p.m.
- Saturday, Sept. 6, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Monday, Sept. 8, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Friday, Sept. 12, 1 to 5 p.m.
- Saturday, Sept. 13, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
"There, they will learn about the Empty Stocking Fund so they understand that what their sponsor is providing is a 'gift' and not a government entitlement," says the spokesman.
They will be interviewed by volunteers to assure need, identify preferred Christmas gifts, and locate where they live for delivery. Results are screened by the Moore County Department of Social Services for accurate identification and income levels.
Applicants must be Moore County residents, and provide the following for each individual in the home: a Social Security card and proof of income. Each individual in the home must be registered.
Each family is adopted by volunteer sponsors who shop, wrap, and deliver their gifts in December. Sponsors range from individuals, who may support one or more families, to organizations such as churches, service clubs and others that sponsor up to 100 families.
"Donors are also important. People and organizations contribute money to the Empty Stocking Fund's Willing Hands Program," says the spokesman.
These funds provide the financial support for individuals and organizations who want to help but who do not have the resources to pay for all the gifts. Using Willing Hands funds, these volunteers buy, wrap, and deliver Christmas gifts to the clients just as the other sponsors do.
The gifts and food vouchers provided by sponsors and the funds contributed by donors are tax-deductible contributions.
The Empty Stocking Fund for 2008 is chaired by MOAA members Walt Bennett, Jack Wood, and Jeff Gilbert. Contact Jeff at (910) 235-0509 or at esf08 @nc.rr.com for additional information. ?
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