Editorial – Some news worth cheering

Published 4:08 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2023

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For many, February is just too soon to be thinking about Christmas again. For those of us involved with the Suffolk News-Herald’s annual Cheer Fund drive, however, this is the time of year we learn just how successful the previous year’s fundraising campaign turned out to be.

And what great news we received: The fund raised a record $49,425, with donations still trickling in.

Ever since the newspaper launched the Cheer Fund sometime during the Great Depression, folks in Suffolk have stepped up to help those who are less fortunate. A successful Cheer Fund results in collecting donations sufficient enough to fund the purchase of toys for the following year’s effort. From another perspective, the Cheer Fund is also successful when community awareness is high about the fund drive and the distribution it supports.

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We’re pleased that — because of the generosity of the fine people of Suffolk — the 2022 Cheer Fund was successful on both counts. Individuals, families, community organizations, businesses and employees of government agencies in Suffolk joined forces to achieve the campaign’s goal of $40,000 by Christmas Day, then keep giving to shatter the previous record of some $45,000 in 2021.

On the other side of the equation, thousands of underprivileged children in Suffolk received toys on Christmas morning because of the generous donations to the Cheer Fund and to Suffolk’s Toys for Tots. 

“Each year we do this program, you hope and pray that the generosity of others will come through,” said Suffolk volunteer extraordinaire Margie Wiley, whose many “hats” include guiding the Cheer Fund as its head elf. “And each year I am amazed by the citizens of our city to give back to others during the Christmas holiday season. Thank you does not begin to sum it up.”

Donations to the Cheer Fund are accepted all year long. To give now toward the 2023 campaign, mail a check to P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23439 or bring it to our office, 157 N. Main St., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. 

The bar was set high in 2022. Let’s make it $50,000 in 2023.