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Santa Fund for Schoolkids helps Charlottesville families in need

School in Charlottesville doesn’t look the same as it did last year, but students are still in need.

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, its impact on students isn’t fully realized.

That’s where the Santa Fund for Schoolkids comes in, helping children in Central Virginia for the 126th year.

The Santa Fund, established in 1894, collects donations to provide vouchers for families to buy shoes, clothing, school supplies and other essentials for children in need.

Sponsored by The Daily Progress and radio station WINA in conjunction with The United Way of Greater Charlottesville, the Santa Fund serves children in the city of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson and Orange.

“Families that were already on the brink are really struggling, so there’s been more of a need,” said Regan Harker, a counselor with the city school division.

Janie Evans, a social worker with the division, said the city schools received $18,000 through the fund in 2020.

Evans highlighted the trickle-down effects the pandemic has had on children of working-class parents, especially those in the hospitality industry or working at the University of Virginia.

The division was able to secure an additional $3,000 from the fund to meet increased needs when the money ran out.

“I’ve never run out this early in the school year,” Evans said.

Evans said each qualifying student receives a voucher for $75. Parents can then take the voucher to participating stores and purchase clothes or other essentials for their children. High school students sometimes use the vouchers to purchase work clothes.

Evans said the money removes one small stressor from parents around the holidays.

“It’s a little bit of positive in the middle of a lot of negative,” she said.

This year’s goal is $175,000. Last year, $189,667.93 was raised, which set a new record.

So far this year, $12,506.99 has been raised.

Please mail all contributions to: Santa Fund, 806 E. High St., Charlottesville, VA 22902. Contributions also can be made at thesantafund.org.

TODAY’S DONATIONS

» Gift on behalf of Lisa Heuchert, $256.41

» In honor of our grandson, Richard Jesse Snook, $100

» In loving memory of Tom, from Chris and Christine, $375

» In memory of Finis, Wes & Marty, $150

» In memory of Hovey Dabney. The Dabney Family, $100

TODAY’S TOTAL: $981.41

RUNNING TOTAL: $12,506.99

GOAL: $175,000

TO REACH GOAL: $162,493.01

Source: www.dailyprogress.com

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