Editorial: Jump start the season

Free Empty Stocking Fund concert kicks off the giving season

If your hearth and home and stomach are full this Christmas season, we hope your heart will be too.

 

The air will be full this Sunday, anyway – with songs of the season at the free Empty Stocking Fund concert at 3 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 3500 Walton Way.

The joyous event heralds the annual Empty Stocking Fund, an 87-year Christmas tradition here that helps brighten the holidays for those in need.

The Augusta Chronicle is proud to bring you both the concert and the charitable fund, 100 percent of the proceeds of which go directly to applicants in need.

Recent economic news has been very hopeful. The stock market has continued to break records, unemployment is its lowest in nearly two decades, and the country’s gross domestic product expanded at a very healthy 3 percent in the third quarter -- despite our absorbing two major hurricanes on the mainland and one in Puerto Rico.

Still, the good times haven’t reached everyone, and there are many in need.

Those who need that bit of Christmas cheer can apply for it in the lobby of The Augusta Chronicle, 725 Broad Street, weekdays between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Deadline to apply is Nov. 30.

Those blessed enough to be able to provide the assistance may donate at the concert Sunday, or securely online at augustachronicle.com/emptystocking, or by mail to The Augusta Chronicle’s Empty Stocking Fund, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928. Or you can drop off donations at the cashier’s office at The Chronicle’s News Building, 725 Broad Street, weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Donations are obviously most appreciated during this spiritual season, but the Empty Stocking Fund accepts them through the month of January.

We’re so privileged to be able to coordinate this neighbor-to-neighbor assistance each year. And we’re so grateful to you, our donors. You may give to the Empty Stocking Fund in your name, or in someone else’s name or memory – and we recognize each one by name in the newspaper. Of course, you may also give anonymously if that’s your wish.

The Empty Stocking Fund is a 501(c)(3) organization, and therefore donations are tax deductible.

We do our best to make sure that donations go only to those truly in need – and not in duplication with other helping agencies in the Augusta area.

It all starts with our free Empty Stocking Fund concert at 3 p.m. Sunday at First Baptist. You may show up at the door, but you can also ensure entry by picking up your free tickets today from 8 to 4:30 at The Chronicle’s cashier’s office.

We hope you’ll take advantage of this festive event, to not only jump-start your Christmas spirit but also an entire season of giving to our fellow man.

We’re humbled and thankful to report that the Empty Stocking Fund collected $101,660 last year alone, and was able to help make Christmas brighter for over 2,200 of our neighbors.

Undoubtedly, it made their hearth, home and stomachs fuller.

It sure did ours.

 

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