Cheer Fund raises $28,600

Published 6:14 pm Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Cheer Fund ended short of its goal this year, but hundreds of children still found gifts under the tree on Christmas morning thanks to donations.

“I am so proud of what the Cheer Fund has accomplished this year for the children and the city of Suffolk,” said Margie Wiley, top elf for the Cheer Fund.

The Cheer Fund raised $28,600 this year.


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Capt. Shauntrice Anthony of the Salvation Army reported that 1,742 children from 924 families benefited from the effort this year.

“The Salvation Army wants to thank our community for coming together to support the Cheer Fund and Toys for Tots programs,” Anthony said. “It is through your generosity and dedication that we were able to provide Christmas presents for families that needed our help and support this year.”

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 provide 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.

The Cheer Fund is an all-volunteer organization. Necessary professional services are provided pro bono, and the newspaper staff does the publicity, bookkeeping and other functions. The only expense the Cheer Fund has is about $50 in required fees to the State Corporation Commission each year.

Wiley said she appreciates the support of the community.

“When it comes to helping out our neighbors in need, I do not believe there’s another place like Suffolk,” she said.

Donations for the Cheer Fund are accepted year-round, regardless of whether it’s February, July, October or December.

Donations are printed in the Suffolk News-Herald and can be made in honor of or in memory of a loved one. The donor can be listed anonymously if he chooses. The donor can also have his photograph taken giving the check to be published in the newspaper.

To give, write a check payable to the Cheer Fund and mail it to P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23439, or stop by our office at 130 S. Saratoga St. Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.