Empty Stocking Fund taking donations

By Dean Manning

The Corbin Rotary Club is seeking the public’s help to fill 500 empty stockings for Christmas.

The club is working to raise more than $30,000 that will be used to purchase gifts, a coat, and shoes for 500 children in Knox, Laurel and Whitley counties. The children will receive the gifts on December 22 at Forest Bowling Lanes in Corbin.

Joe Caldwell, president of the Southeast Kentucky Empty Stocking Fund, said area businesses are welcome to make in-kind donations of goods or services.

“Forest Bowling Lanes is donating bowling and soft drinks for the children and Pizza and Company is making the pizzas,” Caldwell said. “Waste Connections is donating several bicycles to be given away.”

The children were selected on a need basis working in conjunction with other organizations such as Corbin United Effort to ensure as many children as possible have a merrier Christmas.

The children’s names are divided into separate lists by age group and sex. Around December 15, volunteers from the rotary club take portions of the lists and go shopping for appropriate toys.

The coat and shoe sizes of the children are also provided so each child will have a new coat, new pair of athletic shoes and five new pairs of socks.

“We will rent a truck on December 21 and pick up the gifs and take them to the bowling center where volunteers will wrap them,” Caldwell said, noting volunteers are always needed to help wrap the gifts.

Gift wrapping will take place from 2 until 4 p.m. at the business center adjacent to the bowling center.

“The Cumberland Falls Invitational Basketball Tournament is around that same time,” Caldwell said. “We have had teams from out of town come down to help wrap.”

Caldwell said no donation is too small and will be recognized weekly in the local newspapers.

The donations are divided into four categories: platinum, gold, silver and bronze, depending on the amount. The donor is listed in the respective categories based on the amount given.

Donations may be mailed to:

Southeast Kentucky Empty Stocking Fund

P.O. Box 511

Corbin, KY 41014

Caldwell said the empty stocking fund is a registered non-profit organization, meaning donations are tax deductible.

Donors will receive a thank-you letter, which may be used for tax purposes.

More information is available by contacting Caldwell at (606) 878-7935, or by contacting any other member of the Corbin Rotary Club.