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Empty Stocking Fund a truly selfless campaign

Oct. 2, 2012 at 10 p.m.


It does seem early in the year to begin to think about Christmas and we know many resist doing so, but there is one way we would like for all of you to begin considering getting into the spirit of the season.

That way is the Empty Stocking Fund.

The fund, which is administered by Lea McGee, is perhaps the most selfless charitable activity in Marshall. All the money given to the annual project goes into buying gifts for needy families in Harrison County who are closely vetted by Ms. McGee to make certain they need the assistance and that they are not getting it from elsewhere.

No salaries are paid to anyone, no money is spent for administration. Ms. McGee gets not one penny for the many hours of work she does. It is a labor of love for her.

The economy that has given many of people trouble has caused severe problems for some, many of whom can afford the normal expenses of daily living but who could never go to the extra expense of providing Christmas.

It is worth noting, incidentally, that many who are helped one year often become those who give the help in another year. A number of the regular volunteers Ms. McGee has are past recipients of family gifts.

The gifts provided, of course, are not for the adults within a family but only for the children, who are in situations that are utterly beyond their control. It is in their name that help is needed.

It is true that Christmas gifts are not a "necessity" for anyone. Children will survive if they never receive a single gift. This fund is about showing the size of our community's heart so that on Christmas morning they feel the love we want to share.

The work is only just beginning as Ms. McGee collects the applications for those who are asking for help. She will then go through the process of interviewing them all, then determining how many children need to be helped.

When that number is determined, the real work begins of collecting toys and contributions. That is where you, the readers, come in. We will keep you informed of when you need to act.

But it isn't too early to start thinking about when it will be time to do your part.

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