Fund helps ease holiday stress

By Eric Butler

Some families limit the amount of gift-giving at Christmas time, on account of the size of the family, to one per person. It’s often a flexible rule that’s easily broken when Dec. 25 comes around.
But being capable of giving even one gift to each of her four children is something Cindy (not her real name) is hoping for this holiday season.
Cindy has lived in Clovis for the past seven years and has three girls — 13 years, 10 years, and a 4-month-old — and one boy who was born 17 months ago.
“I live on a once-a-month income; I barely have enough to pay my bills,” said Cindy, a single parent, upon applying for help from the Salvation Army this year.
In fact, some of her bills aren’t being paid.
Without the means to afford a car or even insurance on it, finding a job to supplement her monthly government assistance check is extremely difficult.
But a “good-paying job” is what the mother-of-four is hoping to obtain, despite the odds.
She’s also wishing for a holiday where her strained financial condition isn’t so obvious to her children.
“I just want a Christmas where my kids can enjoy at least one gift,” Cindy said.
Through the Empty Stocking Fund, a joint effort of The Salvation Army and the Clovis News Journal, Cindy’s family will receive a food basket that includes pancake mix, peanut butter, jelly, canned goods, cereal, beans, rice, sugar and macaroni and cheese.
More than 400 local families are scheduled to receive the baskets this holiday season.
Donations for Cindy or for others featured in the Empty Stocking Fund stories may be dropped off at the CNJ, 521 Pile St., or mailed to the CNJ, P.O. Box 1689, Clovis 88102-1689. Envelopes should be clearly marked to indicate they contain a donation for the Empty Stocking Fund.
All contributions will be forwarded to the Salvation Army.
People who would like to donate food or new Christmas toys or clothing items may do so at the Salvation Army office, 317 E. Second St.
Information is available by calling the Salvation Army office at 762-3801.