Originally created 11/30/97

Empty Stocking Fund: Education taking toll on family



Sometimes decisions made to build a brighter future for your family can force sacrifices to be made during the holidays.

One woman struggling to make her life better hopes this will be the last dreary Christmas her two young sons have to suffer through. A single mother, she made the decision to quit a full-time job and go to school. She is enrolled at August Technical Institute and will graduate Dec. 9.

After paying for bills, laundry and gas, she won't any money left to buy presents for her sons. She wrote in her letter that she would like to make their Christmas special somehow.

"They deserve it 'cause they have gone without so I could stay in school," she wrote.

The Augusta Chronicle's Empty Stocking Fund can help this family have a happy holiday. The fund has helped thousands of people have a merrier Christmas since it began in 1930. The money provides gift certificates for food, clothes and other necessities.

Those needing help this holiday season or who want to help someone can fill out an application and return it by Dec. 10.

Forms are available at the security desk in the lobby of the News Building, 725 Broad St.; the Columbia Road Bureau in Merchants Village shopping center, 4115 Columbia Road, Martinez; the South Carolina Bureau at 123 Pendleton St., Aiken; and area churches. Those who can't pick up a form can write a letter.

The form or letter must include a complete street address - no post office box numbers - with income information, phone number, and ages and Social Security numbers for all household members. Applicants must also explain why they are asking for help.

Applications should be mailed to: The Empty Stocking Fund, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928. They also can be dropped off at the security desk in the News Building. Approved applicants will be notified by mail.

Those wishing to contribute to the fund may send a donation to the Empty Stocking Fund, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928, or drop it off on the third floor of the News Building.