Cheer Fund, Toys for Tots cooperate

Published 10:20 pm Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Suffolk News-Herald Cheer Fund, Toys for Tots, the Salvation Army and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve are all inter-related but have separate functions in the process of helping less fortunate kids in Suffolk receive toys for Christmas.

“We all work together,” Suffolk Toys for Tots coordinator John Woleben said.

The Cheer Fund has been administered by the Suffolk News-Herald for decades. It initially began during the Great Depression and has evolved into a way to collect money for Suffolk children to have toys on Christmas.

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The Cheer Fund money is turned over to Toys for Tots to use to purchase Christmas presents for the children. Suffolk Toys for Tots is the official local community organization affiliated with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots.

The Salvation Army, meanwhile, works with Social Services and other agencies to collect the names of families who need help for the holidays. It holds the toy distributions at its Bank Street building a week or two before Christmas and also distributes at the same time other needs such as clothes and food collected from different sources.

Woleben said a check written to Toys for Tots stays in the area designated in the ZIP code on the check.

As the Cheer Fund is a local organization, all its donations stay in Suffolk.

The Cheer Fund has a goal of $35,000 this year. To donate to the Cheer Fund, send a check to P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23439 or bring it to our office, 130 S. Saratoga St., from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

We will list your donation in the newspaper, but it can be marked “anonymous” if you like. Donations may be made in honor of or in memory of someone. If you bring the check to our office, we’ll even take your picture as you hand it to one of our staff.

For more information on the Cheer Fund, call 934-9616.