For many families in eastern New Mexico, times are tough. It's never more true than during the Christmas season, when there is pressure to not only make a living but a Dec. 25 worth remembering.
On Friday, Clovis Media Inc. launches its Empty Stocking program, in partnership with The Salvation Army, to help some of those families.
Every day until Christmas, a local family in need of assistance for the holidays will be profiled in the CNJ and PNT. Donations will be accepted through the end of the year, but, to aid in distribution, Salvation Army Maj. Jim Gallop said the Salvation Army is asking clothing or toy donations be made by Dec. 16 so they can be distributed on Dec. 19.
The families have many different circumstances, Salvation Army Maj. Jim Gallop said, but many were laid off near the holiday season.
“That makes it very difficult," Gallop said. "I understand the companies have to do that sometimes, but it make a holidays difficult for the families."
So far, 290 families have applied for help. The total includes 530 children.
Between trees at North Plains Mall, Wal-Mart in Clovis, Hastings and St. Claire's Orthodontics, Gallop said there are about 500 “Angel tags” for children and seniors. The charity will take donations of money and toys to help make Christmas better and supply meals for around 300 seniors.
For information or to donate to a Salvation Army Christmas project, call Jim Gallop at 762-3801 or visit 317 E. Second St. in Clovis.
The Portales News Tribune is accepting Empty Stocking Fund donations at the newspaper office at 101 E. First St.
Donations may be mailed to the PNT at P.O. Box 848, Portales, NM 88130. 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.
This year's Empty Stocking Fund goal is $7,500. Last year $12.000 was raised, well in excess of the $5,000 goal and helped largely by one $4,000 donation.
Additionally, kettles are placed throughout Clovis at storefronts. Citizens donated $45,000 last year, and the goal for 2012 is $50,000.
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.