Help the Empty Stocking Fund

by Jessica Cervantez

For 34 years the Empty Stocking Fund has been providing gifts for needy families across East Texas. But, the fund has only collected about half of this year's goal.

The Empty Stocking Fund drive started on December 1st. Volunteers stayed busy collecting donations in the Nacogdoches Wal-Mart parking lot 24-hours a day.

Sherry Williford, who chairs the Empty Stocking Fund, said, "Donations were down a little bit, but with the generosity of East Texans we expect them to increase."

This week, volunteers will be busy arranging and packing toys for families. So far, the drive has collected $15-thousand, only half of this year's goal. But organizers are not worried. They know East Texans will come through.

Williford said, "People can still give, we're still taking donations."

Organizers hope to provide gifts for 800 families. That is more than last year.

Williford said, "We have a lot of evacuees who are staying here, we are looking to have a few more families."

Organizers hope East Texans will continue to donate money, so that hundreds of children throughout Nacogdoches County will have a happy holiday.

You send donations to 818 Park Street, Nacogdoches, TX, 75951.

If you want to volunteer, you can call Kim Barton at the Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital at 569-4123.

If you want to apply to receive gifts, you can visit the Child Protective Services office off Stallings.