Valdosta Daily Times

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December 27, 2013

Stocking Fund: Thank you, readers

VALDOSTA — The Times wants to take a moment to thank you, our readers, for donating money, contributing toys through the Outback Riders Toy Ride, etc., to the 2013 Empty Stocking Fund campaign.

Thank you for making this Empty Stocking Fund campaign one of the most successful in its decades-long history.

As of today, the Empty Stocking Fund continues attracting contributions, with the total of donations nearing $30,000. Last year marked the first time the fund received more than $30,000 in donations.

By donating nearly $30,000 in 2013, the Empty Stocking should be able to help more children in Christmas 2014. The fund works a year ahead, raising money for the next Christmas season.

For generations, The Valdosta Daily Times readers and the Salvation Army have worked to ensure that no local child finds an empty stocking come Christmas morning. Guardian Bank handles the fund’s many donations.

This would not have been possible without the help of several people.

Margie Blanton, Guardian Bank’s human resource officer, handled the incoming donations daily for the past several weeks. She does an excellent job handling the funds and meeting many of the contributors.

Salvation Army Capts. Guy and Monica Nickum work miracles each year. Monica Nickum handles everything from the registration of families to raising funds to purchasing the gifts to sorting them for each child’s wish list to distributing them with great care and efficiency. She is a marvel to watch and the Nickums have proven again and again a blessing to our community.

For the first time, The Times included Empty Stocking Fund envelopes in early December editions; these envelopes brought in thousands of dollars in donations.

And, again, it would not be possible without you, our generous readers. It is too easy to turn a blind eye, a deaf ear and a cold heart in this world, but you did not.

May your coming new year be as full of joy as the joy you have brought to so many young people throughout Valdosta and Lowndes County.

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