Cheer Fund kicks off

Published 10:47 pm Friday, November 8, 2019

The Suffolk News-Herald Cheer Fund is once again ramping up its efforts to collect donations to be used to purchase toys for local children at Christmas.

The Cheer Fund, a community nonprofit run by a volunteer board, was started by the newspaper during the Great Depression and is sustained by the newspaper through pro bono publicity and bookkeeping work.

“As the Christmas season begins, folks plan on what they will be getting the little ones in their families for Christmas,” said Margie Wiley, board member and “head elf” for the Cheer Fund. “The Cheer Fund is also thinking the same thing, only it is for the children of our community family.”

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The Cheer Fund collects donations each year to fund the purchase of toys given out by the Salvation Army to Suffolk 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 toys for each of their children to find under the tree on Christmas morning.

“The funds that are raised within our community go directly to support purchasing toys for the needy children in our city,” Wiley said.

This year’s fundraising goal is $40,000, and about 13 percent of that has been collected for this year, as donations are accepted year-round.

Through a series of stories this holiday season, the News-Herald will present the impact the Cheer Fund has had on the community. Readers will hear from volunteers and even from previous recipients about how the Cheer Fund helped make their Christmas merry and bright. The articles will also delve into the toys we give out and how we partner to acquire those toys at low cost.

To donate to the Cheer Fund, send a check to P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23439 or bring it to the newspaper 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. This is a great way for community clubs and organizations to get recognition for the many great things they do for our community.

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