Participation in Empty Stocking program increases

CNJ staff

As the holidays approach, many local families are experiencing financial crisis this year, according to Salvation Army Capt. Tammy Ray.

Friday the Clovis News Journal and Portales News-Tribune will launch their annual Empty Stocking program in partnership with The Salvation Army.

Every day until Christmas, a local family in need of assistance for the holidays will be profiled in the CNJ and PNT.

The Empty Stocking program feeds funds into local holiday programs, Ray said.

Holiday programs include The Angel Tree — in which donors select a tag with a child’s name and gift wish from a tree — which provides toys to area children, and offers clothing provisions and a senior citizen commodities program with a box of food for holiday meals.

About 600 children, an increase of between 20 and 30 percent from most years, are signed up for this season’s Angel Tree program, Ray said.

“This year we’re really seeing some significant family crisis that we haven’t seen before,” Ray said.

“Things are just really tough, even for working families that usually make enough to take care of things.”

The Angel Tree program accepted about 600 children this year but program organizers hope to help more with any surplus donations that come in, Ray said.

Donations will be accepted through the end of the year, she said.

For information or to donate to a Salvation Army Christmas project, call Tammy Ray at 762-3801 or visit 317 E. Second St.

The Clovis News Journal is accepting Empty Stocking Fund donations at the newspaper office at 521 Pile St.

Donations may be mailed to the CNJ at P.O. Box 1689, Clovis, NM 88102. 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.

The Clovis News Journal and Portales News-Tribune sponsor the Empty Stocking Fund and will continue to accept donations until the end of the year.