Support the Cheer Fund

Published 11:06 pm Tuesday, November 10, 2009

It’s a heartbreaking fact of life in America that — even amidst the great wealth and prosperity that surrounds us — there are folks who, for whatever reason, just can’t make it. Poverty is a sad fact of life in nearly every part of the nation. And during the recent economic upheaval, its tentacles arguably have reached farther into society and caused more damage than at any time since the Great Depression.

With unemployment nearing record levels this year, more people are unable to pay their bills than at any time in recent memory, more homes are in danger of foreclosure and more families are finding themselves on the streets. The effects can be wrenching on children — and on the parents who find themselves suddenly unable to provide for them.

Through its Cheer Fund, the Suffolk News-Herald hopes to help this year. Established during the 1930s to provide food and clothing to the needy, the fund has evolved into a way to raise money each year to buy toys for children who might not otherwise have gotten them.

Considering all of the problems that families in poverty are facing, providing toys for the kids might seem like something that should take a low priority. And for many families, that’s just what happens, as lodging, food, gasoline and other necessities wipe out meager paychecks and government aid. In the end, there’s no money left over for the luxury of fun.

That’s where the Cheer Fund, which raises money for Suffolk’s Toys for Tots program, can help. Donors understand that the children in such situations have no control over their plight; they are the helpless victims of whatever twists of fate have befallen their parents or guardians. Still, Cheer Fund donors believe, those children deserve to have a merry Christmas.

You can help, and you’re almost guaranteed to find it a blessing to do so. Send a donation, even if it’s a small one. The folks at Toys for Tots get good deals on toys, and they can make that money go a lot farther than you’d expect. To donate, make your check payable to Cheer Fund and send it to the Suffolk News-Herald, P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23434 — or drop by the office at 130 S. Saratoga St. and we’ll get a photo of you with your donation.