Cheer Fund helps local children

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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In recent weeks, stories on the front page have been highlighting folks who volunteer with the Salvation Army — many of whom volunteer year-round, but especially at Christmastime.

The reason for this is simple — not only do we want to honor those who volunteer, but also we want to keep the Suffolk News-Herald Cheer Fund at the top of everyone’s minds.

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.

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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. Because a board member covers a small, annual required fee to the State Corporation Commission, every single cent that is donated will go toward purchasing toys for local children.

These toys are then handed out before Christmas based on requests from local children and parents. Thanks to generous donations by local individuals, families, civic groups, businesses, foundations and others, thousands of children will find gifts under the tree this year that otherwise may not have been possible.

Last year, 2,114 children received toys through the Cheer Fund’s efforts.

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.