This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Empty Stocking Fund, sponsored each year by area businesses, clubs and individuals to provide holiday food boxes to the community’s needy families.
The old Downtown Merchant’s Association decided a quarter century ago that each member would sponsor a family for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“That’s where it started, and it’s evolved from there,” The Empty Stocking Fund Chairman Randy New said. “Over the years, it’s grown and gotten out from under the merchant’s association and become a community wide effort. I get donations from $10 to $2,000. I never know where they are going to come from or how they are going to get here, but they always do. I believe people are interested in helping a cause where 100 percent of the money goes toward the food for the families.”
The program started by feeding 10 families the first year and has grown to a distribution of more than 400.
The fund will help provide the family with a complete holiday meal box including a turkey, vegetables, cornbread dressing mix, desert and more.
All contributions collected go directly toward the cost of food.
New said extra money goes to Church Central when they need assistance with a bulk food order.
A local partner, Childre Nissan, has a goal to raise $1,000 for The Empty Stocking Fund of Baldwin County this season.
All the community has to do to help is visit Childre Nissan on Facebook, and ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ their page. For every new Like or Share between Nov. 28 and Dec. 21, Childre will give $2 to the Empty Stocking Fund.
Supporters want to feed more than 425 families through this Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“It helps to know that we provide help for them outside of school to get a good meal at home,” New said.
Please make checks payable to The Empty Stocking Fund, and either drop it by Bayne’s Army Story or mail it to 118 S. Wayne St.