Cheer Fund begins yearly push for funds

Published 5:25 pm Friday, November 19, 2021

Jeffrey Johnson has been volunteering with the Salvation Army Suffolk Corps for going on two years now, so he knows what it’s like to bring a smile to people’s faces.

Johnson, a Suffolk resident, started volunteering when the Salvation Army reached out to his church, The Mount Suffolk, for help.

“I count it a pleasure and an honor,” Johnson said. “You realize how blessed you really are.”

Though he started volunteering nearly two years ago, he especially enjoyed his experience during the Christmas season last year and is looking forward to that again this year.

“It was a great experience and a blessing to see the kids in their cars, and it was the same when they pulled up to get a meal,” he said. “It really touched my heart, and I really enjoyed it, so that’s the reason I’m looking forward to it this year.”

The Salvation Army has an assortment of Christmas programs designed to help families and seniors in need. To help give out toys, one of its biggest partners is the Suffolk News-Herald Cheer Fund.

The Cheer Fund was started by the newspaper during the Great Depression to provide clothes and food for needy families. It eventually began providing toys for children and teamed up with the Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army.

These days, this program of the newspaper is its own nonprofit, with an independent board, and each year collects roughly $40,000 from individuals, groups and foundations in the community. This money goes directly to the purchase of toys by the Salvation Army.

To donate to the Cheer Fund, send a check to P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23439 or bring it to the newspaper office, 157 N. Main St., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday 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.