The gift of giving

Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 7, 2004

1,600 children.

That’s how many underprivileged children in Suffolk were served last year by the local Toys for Tots program.

Thanks to Toys for Tots, those children found quality toys under the tree at Christmas.

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We’re fortunate in Suffolk to have such a program along with the dozens of hard-working volunteers and help of the South Hampton Roads Association of Financial Advisors (formerly Portsmouth-Cheskapeake-Suffolk Life Underwriters) who for more than 40 years have made Christmas a little brighter.

However, they cannot do it by themselves. They need your help.

Today marks the kickoff of 2004 Suffolk Cheer Fund campaign. Money donated to the Cheer Fund, primarily from readers of the News-Herald, is used exclusively to fund the Toys for Tots program in Suffolk.

This year’s goal, once again, is $40,000 and judging by the record generosity last year, we’re feeling confident that we can exceed it. The 2003 campaign was a record-setter, with more than $39,000 donated.

The need in Suffolk is large and growing, making the Cheer Fund campaign more important than ever.

This year, Toys for Tots is expanding the range of ages it serves so it will take even more money to make it a success.

The Cheer Fund is one of the few charities in existence in which you can be sure that every dollar donated stays right here at home. Help us make this campaign our best ever. No donation is too small.

Individuals should make checks payable to &uot;Cheer Fund,&uot; and mail them to:

Cheer Fund

C/o Suffolk News-Herald

P.O. Box 1220

Suffolk, VA 23439.

We also want to challenge clubs and organizations to step up to the plate this year and help out. Most civic organizations such as Rotary and the Ruritans have been long-time supporters of the campaign and this year we would like to see all of these fine groups participate. Groups wishing to make donations should contact Managing Editor Luefras Robinson at 934-9613 to make sure that their club gets the recognition they deserve.

It’s time to start thinking about the holidays and please remember those children who without your generosity, may not have the Merry Christmas they deserve.