The Christmas holiday is fast approaching and once again The Aegis Empty Stocking Fund is offering help to needy Harford County families through the generous donations of money and toys from local residents, organizations, schools and businesses.
This year, there are a number of community events that will benefit the Empty Stocking Fund and its goal of making Christmas a little merrier for some less fortunate Harford County residents.
The Empty Stocking Fund's fundraising goal again for this year has been set at $80,000. Donations received as of Monday totaled $27,779.22, more than a third of the way to the goal.
The Empty Stocking Fund volunteers, many of them retired or former employees of The Aegis and their families, annually provide help to less fortunate Harford County families and senior citizens, aided by the generous donations from county residents, businesses, school clubs, scout troops and other community organizations.
"For the unemployed father or mother who are unable to afford toys for their children, this can be a most difficult time of the year," Jane Brown, an Empty Stocking Fund Committee spokesperson, said. "Please help us help others. No contribution is too small. When added together it provides a holiday for those who might otherwise go without."
To help brighten the holidays for a needy family or person, please send a check, for any amount to: The Aegis Empty Stocking Fund, P.O. Box 189, Bel Air, Md., 21014.
To help the Empty Stocking Fund, come out and support the Jewelry Extravaganza and Holiday Gift Show on Saturday, Dec. 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m at the Bel Air Reckord Armory at 37 N. Main St. in Bel Air.
The Empty Stocking Fund's annual toy drive, with a visit from Santa, will also be held Dec. 3 from 2 – 4 p.m. at the Bel Air Reckord Armory.
The Aegis Empty Stocking Fund Committee said it would like to thank Klein's ShopRite Stores for including the Empty Stocking Fund in their fundraiser, "Partners In Caring Day," held Sept. 21, during which a percentage of store sales were donated to the Empty Stocking Fund.
The committee also gave special thanks to the elected officials and other celebrities who "helped bag hunger," during "Partners in Caring," as the Empty Stocking Fund netted $8,224.22.
The committee said it would also like to extend thanks and appreciation to the Toys 'R' US Children's Fund for its support of $5,000 given through the Bel Air Store Toys 'R' US/Babies 'R' US.
Barnes and Noble's Charity for the Month of November will be The Aegis Empty Stocking Fund. Stop by the fund's display at the Barnes and Noble Booksellers at 620 Marketplace Drive in Bel Air and help reach the $80,000 goal by buying a book for a child.
Harford Community College will celebrate the holidays with two-time Grammy Award Winner Rita Coolidge as she sings enchanting holiday arrangements. The concert will be held in the Amoss Center on Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. HCC is a proud contributor to the Empty Stocking Fund and invites all concert goers to bring a donation of a new and unwrapped children's gift to this special holiday performance.
North Harford Middle School Peer Helpers and Youth Benefit Elementary School second grade classes will also be collecting toy donations for the Empty Stocking Fund.
Donations have been received from Wyett H. Colclasure II, $100 in memory of Col. W.J. Davies; Richard and Elaine Davies, $100 in memory of Col. W. J. Davies; Julia Davies Acker, $100 in memory of Col. W.J. Davies, $100; Lions Club of Bel Air, Inc., $400; APG Federal Credit Union Community Involvement, $200; William Watters U.M. Women, $100; and Louanne M. Ehlers, $200.
Other donations have been received from Jarrettsville U.M. Women, $100; Patricia S. Gilligan, $250; Betty and Ed Miller, $200; Dan and Mary Ellen O'Neill, $100; Charles and Jacquelin Irwin, $100; Bruce and Retta Absher, $100; Elizabeth R. Roese, $250; Norma and John Cook, $100; Ruth Foard, $200; Louis and Marion Storm, $300; Pat Sweeney, $100; Corbin Fuel Co., Inc. $500; John Young, $100; Mabel S. Kroh, $100; Joyce Irwin, $100; Harford Mutual Insurance Co., $1,000; Cat Sense Feline Hospital and Boarding, Inc., $100; Esther E. Dombrowski, $225; Scarborough and Associates, $100; Vera and Irving Pratt, $250 and Leland and Diana Knight, $100.
Donations have also been received from Linda C. Walls, $150; Robert D. Slocum, $100; Dick and Barb Ensor, $300:Joanne Bowman, $200; Carol and Joel Adler, $500; Dorothy A. Miller, $100; Harford County Electrical Contractors Association, $1,000; Robert and Susan Mengel, $100; Denise Shutt, $100; Charles J. Karl, in memory of Patty L. Karl, $250; and Birds of Prey, Ravens Nest No. 1 of Harford County, Md., Inc. $100.
Toy drop off sites will be published in an upcoming edition of The Aegis and online at http://www.exploreharford.com.