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Empty Stocking Fund drive commences
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Members of the Exchange Club of Effingham County have kicked off their annual Empty Stocking fund drive for families in Effingham County.

This effort by the Exchange Club, co-sponsored by The Herald, provides funds for families to help in their hour of need at Christmas time. Last year the effort distributed over $20,000 to needy families in Effingham County.

“In these difficult economic times, we know that there is much need among families in Effingham,” said Reggie Loper, chairman of the drive. “Our effort will be to provide, with the help of citizens, some measure of support so that stockings may be filled at Christmas time. Our effort cannot provide large sums to individual families, but it can help fill the gap that so many of citizens are struggling with today.”

Funds are distributed through letters of credit to local businesses. These letters can be redeemed, by agreement with the business, for food, clothing, toys and prescription medicines. The letters specifically restrict use for the purchase of tobacco or alcohol products. If there are businesses wishing to become part of the program by redeeming the letters of credit, call Loper at 754-6286.

Members of the Exchange Club will be calling on citizens, civic groups and businesses to provide the funds. These funds are made available to the Department of Family and Children Services, who issues the letters of credit. Families needing help from the program should make applications to DFCS (754-6471). Members of the Exchange Club are not involved in the application process.

“We know that times are hard, we also know that Effingham has a generous heart and has always come through for the Empty Stocking Fund,” Loper said.