Still time to donate

Published 8:15 pm Saturday, December 28, 2013

We’re nearly there, thanks to you.

The board of directors in charge of the Suffolk Cheer Fund set a goal of $35,000 this year to help fund the purchase of toys for Suffolk’s Toys for Tots campaign, and as of Friday, the effort had raised $28,247, with the promise of another check on the way that will bring the total to more than $32,000.

To say we’re grateful for the generosity of the people of Suffolk would be an understatement. Contributions have come in from individuals, civic organizations, church groups, businesses and charitable foundations. They have ranged from a few dollars to $5,000. All have been vital and appreciated.

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The Cheer Fund was started by the Suffolk News-Herald sometime last century — during the Great Depression, it is believed — and initially provided money for clothing and food for needy Suffolk residents.

Over time, its mission changed to providing money to purchase toys for children who might otherwise find nothing under the tree on Christmas morning. Money raised through the effort goes directly to the Toys for Tots organization, which purchases and distributes toys to families of boys and girls in Suffolk.

All but about $50 is used to buy toys, which are then distributed at toy-shopping events sponsored by the Suffolk Unit of the Salvation Army to families who have been identified and qualified by the Salvation Army and the Suffolk Department of Social Services. The only non-toy cost for the effort is the expense of an annual filing with the State Corporation Commission.

Thousands of children around Suffolk received toys this year because of the donations made to this effort, along with toy collections that took place around the city. The money raised in this year’s drive will fund next year’s toy distribution, and if trends during the past few years continue to hold, there will be more children served than ever before.

For those who have donated this year and in the past, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your help with this project. And if you haven’t had a chance to donate yet, there’s still time to do so.

Send your check to 130 S. Saratoga St., Suffolk, VA 23434 or bring it by the Suffolk News-Herald at that address. If you bring your check in person, we’ll be happy to take your photo handing the check to one of our staff and publish it in the newspaper.

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