As of Tuesday afternoon, The Commercial’s Christmas Card Fund has received $149 from people interested in helping Jefferson County school children.
For 25 years, the newspaper has sponsored the fundraiser to benefit needy children in Watson Chapel, Pine Bluff, Dollarway and White Hall schools.
The fundraiser begins every Thanksgiving Day and runs throughout the holiday season. The fund is used throughout the school year to help children with essentials such as clothes, shoes or eye glasses.
In some cases, the fund has benefited families who have had unexpected situations such as a house fire.
How does it work? The newspaper collects the funds which are divided among area school districts. When school staff discover students with various needs, the Christmas Card Fund is available to help fulfill those requests.
All the proceeds are given to the schools because no money is kept for administration costs at The Commercial.
In 2011, the fund raised $8,448.35 and this year people have already starting bringing in donations such as a local community choir. Area children not only benefit from the fund, they also help raise money as well. Several schools submit lists of children and donors who contribute to the project.
People who contribute at least $1 by Dec. 19 will have their names printed on a Christmas Card that will be published in the newspaper before Christmas Day.
Donors may send contributions to The Commercial’s Christmas Card Fund, c/o Pine Bluff Commercial, P.O. Box 6469, Pine Bluff, AR, 71611. Donations may also be brought to the office at 300 Beech St., weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
For those submitting a long list with names from classrooms or other organizations, The Commercial asks that the list be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org on the same day the money is turned into the newspaper.