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Christmas is fast approaching, and many children in Bladen County will go without. With 24% of the population living below the poverty level we know children will not have a gift to open on Christmas morning. The Bladen Journal, Bladen County Department of Social Services, and Leinwands have worked tirelessly to implement the Empty Stocking Fund year after year. In 2021, two hundred and twenty children were provided $75 vouchers to shop at Leinwands. Ricky Leinwand is truly a community-minded philanthropist and his store is an institution with years of service in providing for those in need.

Lumber River United Way is seeking your help to make a child’s Christmas special and to increase the number of children being served. Donations are needed to provide shopping vouchers, whether they come from individuals, small businesses, major manufacturing facilities, doctors’ offices, or church groups, it all adds up. We also need additional businesses to work with the Empty Stocking Fund to accept vouchers to be used locally and reimbursed by the Empty Stocking Fund. There are few options for purchasing toys in Bladen County, but just maybe there are a few local businesses that are unaware of this program and may be willing to participate.

The Empty Stocking Fund is collected and distributed through a partnership between the Bladen Journal, with applications being processed through the Bladen County Department of Social Services. Lumber River United Way is the administrator of the Empty Stocking Fund and charges zero administrative fees, this means 100% of every donation provides a gift for children in Bladen County.

Please consider donating to the Bladen County Empty Stocking Fund, your gift may assist a single parent, a family struggling to make ends meet, or a child being raised by a grandparent on a fixed income.

To make a donation or to get involved, please visit lumberriveruw.org

Tate C. Johnson

Executive Director

PO Box 2652

Lumberton, NC  28359

(910) 739-4249 ext 101