It has often been said that Christmas is a time for giving and what better to celebrate that saying than by helping a family in need. This year The Thomaston Times has teamed up with Thomaston Ford and several other local businesses and organizations for the 64th annual Empty Stocking Fund. The ESF operates as part of the Upson County Ministerial Association and provides assistance with food, clothing and gifts for families with children at Christmastime.
The Empty Stocking Fund was started in 1949 by the late Herbert Morgan, pastor of East Thomaston Baptist Church and was originally known as the Upson County Charity Fund. Our predecessors here at The Thomaston Times also participated in the inaugural year by selling a special issue of The Free Press (the other paper published by the Thomaston Publishing Company) with all proceeds going to the charity fund. That first year over $3,000 was collected to help 90 families; in recent years the ESF has been able to help over 300 families thanks to donations from the community.
Traditionally, each family will receive a large box of food including canned goods and other staples, and children will receive at least one new toy as well as a clothing voucher. Those wishing to help with the program may make donations of food, toys or a monetary donation at Thomaston Ford, who is offering a special incentive of raffle tickets for each new unwrapped toy that is brought in. Patrons will receive one raffle ticket per toy and will be entered into the drawing for items from Northside Pawn, Game Castle and CJ’s Grocery.
Donations can be made at any time at the local Walmart, but there will be volunteers on hand certain days to help with the collections. They will be stationed at the store from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on November 29 and 30; the Lions Club will be on hand December 6 and 7, and December 13 and 14.