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Help Cheer Fund meet goal

Throughout the Christmas season, the Suffolk News-Herald takes the time to talk to various local people about their Christmas memories.

The series of stories is meant to bring attention to the Cheer Fund collections that, while they actually take place all year long, really ramp up in November and December.

The Cheer Fund collects donations each year to fund the purchase of toys given out by the Salvation Army to local families. These families apply in October of each year, and their need is vetted by officials. Parents visit the toy store the week before Christmas and choose three toys for each of their children to find under the tree on Christmas morning.

Of course, Christmas isn’t about toys, and it’s not about the crass consumerism that seems to dominate this season. But such a lecture wouldn’t go over well with a 3-year-old who’s upset that Santa didn’t bring him anything, and it means little to a 7-year-old who has to quietly answer “Nothing” when he gets back to school in January and gets asked what he got for Christmas.

For decades, the Cheer Fund has been part of the Suffolk community’s answer to how these children will be helped. Every year, thousands of children receive toys purchased directly with the Cheer Fund donations, and every one of those children lives in Suffolk.

Our goal this year is $40,000, and we are at more than $24,000. With less than two weeks to go until Christmas, we still need about $16,000 to push us toward our goal.

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. Visit the Suffolk Cheer Fund on Facebook to find an online giving link.

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 photo as you hand it to one of our staff.

For more information on the Cheer Fund, call 934-9609.