LIMA — Many stockings in the region could remain empty if generous people in the region don’t step forward.
With a week left in the annual campaign for the Empty Stocking Fund, donations total $17,047. That’s well short of last year’s total of $31,527 in the program. The goal each year for the program is to raise $35,000.
Each day between Thanksgiving and Christmas, The Lima News features the story of a local resident struggling to provide a good Christmas to loved ones in the home. The program benefits the Bradfield Community Center, Mizpah Community Center and the Salvation Army in providing extra assistance for people going through extraordinarily tough times.
That’s not to say the community hasn’t shown its ability to be generous, just not necessarily with cash donations via The Lima News, 3515 Elida Road, Lima, OH 45807 or by dropping money off at any Superior Credit Union branch.
People brought a handful of blankets to a family profiled after suffering through a fire this year. Several Lima businesses lined up ways to adopt particular families featured in the stories, raising money and directly helping those particular families.
Sometimes the generosity comes from outside the area. A former Lima resident now living in Oklahoma lined up a way to help one woman get her home repaired, giving her a more stable home for her four children.
“Thank you for sharing these stories that are changing lives,” said Major Debbie Stacy, of the Salvation Army in Lima.
Monetary donations have the biggest impact this week, as the participating agencies line up deliveries of gift cards and presents to help the families featured in the Empty Stocking stories in the newspaper. Still, donations can be accepted after the holidays.
Mizpah planned to use its share of the fundraising to provide coats, gloves, shoes and some new clothes for children using the center in Lima’s south end, Monford said. The agency itself has its own wish list, including computers to boost its children’s after-school program.
At Bradfield Community Center a few blocks north of Mizpah, the Empty Stocking Fund provided 25 to 30 families with a full holiday, including a meal and meaningful presents for the children.
Over the past 25 years, the program raised more than $730,000.
Reach David Trinko at 567-242-0467 or on Twitter @Lima_Trinko.