Fund could help put out financial flames

Eric Butler

o Fire victims could face ‘very small’ Christmas.

By Eric Butler
The holiday season is a budget cruncher for most people, but especially for those with low-paying jobs.
For Lauren (not her real name), the season became particularly difficult when fire struck her family home recently. Her three daughters — ages 5, 4 and 2 — were not harmed in the blaze, but the family’s economic situation sustained major damage.
Looking at the ashes formed by former material possessions, she could foresee the financial troubles that would arise from trying to replace them.
“We lost almost everything we owned in a house fire and have been trying to recuperate the loss,” said Lauren, a single parent who has been a resident of the area for the past five years.
She decided to apply for help with The Salvation Army’s Empty Stocking Fund saying that, without the assistance, her children’s Christmas would be “very small.”
“I would like to have a Christmas tree this year for the kids and maybe something special for them under it,” she said.
Through the Empty Stocking Fund, a joint effort of The Salvation Army and the Clovis News Journal, Lauren’s family will receive a food basket that includes pancake mix, peanut butter, jelly, canned goods, cereal, beans, rice, sugar and macaroni and cheese.
Over 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 office at 762-3801.