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Exchange Club kicks off Empty Stocking Fund drive
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Again this year, the Exchange Club of Effingham County will make the holidays brighter for many local families in need through its Empty Stocking Fund campaign.

Reggie Loper, chairman for Effingham’s Empty Stocking Fund, pointed out that many people have been struggling to make ends meet during the economic downturn. Those tough economic times are amplified at Christmas time.

“It is hard to explain to a child why that special gift they have dreamed of all year was not waiting for them Christmas morning,” Loper said. “To a family, it may be that wonderful smell that comes from the kitchen  promising a delicious and filling meal will be enjoyed Christmas day. Whatever the reason, at this time of year when we celebrate the birth of the One that gave so much, we should be generous with our treasures.”

Individuals, churches, civic groups and businesses are all encouraged to make monetary contributions to help children and needy families at Christmas.

Donations to the Empty Stocking Fund may be made at any BB&T Bank, Heritage Bank and Coastal Bank in Effingham County. Or contact Loper at 754-6286.

“The need this year is much more than we have experienced in the past,” Loper said. “Open your hearts, and your wallets, for those having it a little harder.”

Families seeking assistance through the Empty Stocking Fund must apply at the Effingham County Division of Family and Children Services office at 204 Franklin St. in Springfield. Families who are not clients of DFCS but are in need of help may participate in this program. DFCS issues vouchers that are redeemable for food, clothing, toys and prescription medicines at designated businesses.

The Empty Stocking Fund is just one of the Effingham Exchange Club’s efforts in the community.