New ways to support the Cheer Fund

Published 7:02 pm Monday, November 28, 2011

My least favorite activity is shopping, so you might think that I hate this aspect of the Christmas season. You’d be wrong, of course. Despite my distaste for joining the masses packed into malls and big box chains, I love Christmas shopping. That’s because my favorite part of Christmas is giving gifts.

I love seeing my family members’ faces light up when they open gifts. I love sneaking extra goodies into my parents’ stocking and smiling as they puzzle over where the mystery items came from. And there is no better feeling in the world than giving to a charity and knowing that my hard-earned money will go to support a great cause.

From helping to buy food and care for the stray animals housed at the shelter where I adopted my own dog to knowing that a donation of mine will help purchase lunch for low-income students at a local school, Christmas truly is the season of giving.

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One of my favorite charities is Toys for Tots, which is an easy way to multiply your gift giving. Instead of giving to one child, your donation of money or toys gets distributed among all the needy children in Suffolk, those whose parents are unable to put even one gift under their tree.

That’s why I was truly excited to learn last year that the Suffolk News-Herald’s charity, the Cheer Fund, gives directly to Toys for Tots.

It was heartwarming to witness the many people coming in our office during the holiday season to give generously.

We’ve already accepted many checks for individuals and local groups this season.

Last year, we collected $36,735 and served 5,260 children. That’s a huge number, but the need has only grown in the last year.

That’s why it’s great to hear about efforts from local businesses that have cooked up new ways to make money for the Cheer Fund.

Rosa’s Coffee Shop, a local business that opened at 149 N. Main St. earlier this year, is selling coffee sleeves for a dollar. Customers will be able to decorate the sleeves — which will then be hung on the wall — and the money generated by the sales will go directly to the Cheer Fund.

The plan is a smart one, both for the Cheer Fund and for Suffolk. It will reach the community that already goes to the coffee shop for their daily boost of caffeine. At the same time, some who will enter the shop to give to the fund will leave as new customers, boosting the local economy in the process.

For the Cheer Fund and for Suffolk’s economy, every little bit helps. And the best way to keep Suffolk great is to support local businesses that help support Suffolkians.