Cheer Fund support needed

Published 10:19 pm Tuesday, November 17, 2015

With Thanksgiving approaching, folks are starting to think about the coming season of giving. Already, shoppers in Suffolk are encountering the tinkling of bells being rung beside the red fundraising kettles made famous by the Salvation Army.

Clearly, shopping for gifts will be an important part of just about any observance of Christmas. But for some folks in the area, this Christmas will be an especially painful one. Some have lost jobs. Others have had their pay reduced or their hours cut. Some have lost homes. For many people in such situations, there will be no Christmas gifts this year.

When such situations affect Suffolk families with children, the Cheer Fund is there to help. Sometime during the Great Depression, the Suffolk News-Herald’s Cheer Fund was established to collect clothing and other items for needy families throughout the city. Through the years, the effort turned into a drive to raise money to buy toys for children at Christmas, which is still its focus today.

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For many years, a local advisory board and a few other volunteers worked together to make sure toys were distributed to those who needed them. A little more than a decade ago, the Cheer Fund began teaming up with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves’ Toys for Tots program, giving the community an even greater resource for helping to improve Christmas for Suffolk children.

Any adult who has ever seen the look of happiness in the eye of a child who has received just the right unexpected gift under the Christmas tree can readily understand why the Cheer Fund exists. But there’s a difference between understanding and supporting.

Today, we want to encourage you to lend your full support to the Cheer Fund. To do so requires little in the way of commitment or sacrifice from most folks. Instead, it requires a resolve to write a check and put it in the mail. Whether for a small amount or a large one is almost less important than the simple fact of financially supporting a deserving community-improvement project.

Please show you care for your community this year with a donation to the Cheer Fund. The happy faces of many children around Suffolk could depend on your support.

To contribute, send a check to Cheer Fund, P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23434, or stop by the Suffolk News-Herald’s offices at 130 S. Saratoga St.

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.