Mom needs help with Christmas gifts for kids

By Eric Butler

Santa may know who’s naughty and who’s nice, but what if the nice ones’ parents need some help to make Christmas a special holiday?
Cheryl (not her real name), a resident of the area for the last 28 years, is hoping that the Salvation Army will be able to make it possible for her to give her two sons and one daughter a gift this year.
“It’s sad, because I know my kids are good kids and they deserve something,” said Cheryl, a single parent, upon applying with the Empty Stocking Fund this year. “And I can’t afford it.”
While she may have a job, Cheryl’s position is a low-paying one and she has to go to work at night.
That means that she has to get a babysitter each evening for her kids — stretching her tight budget to the breaking point.
“I need a job where I don’t need to leave my kids with a sitter,” Cheryl said. “So, I’m going to start working at a day job.”
In the meantime, the beneficence of others may have to be depended on to make her kids’ Christmas resemble that of most families.
When she applied for assistance, Cheryl was asked what prompted her to come for help.
“Because this will be the only gift for my kids,” she 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 through the Empty Stocking Fund this holiday season.
Donations for the Empty Stocking Fund 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.