Santa Claus clambers down the chimney once a year, but a child’s need knows no season.
Luckily for local kids, residents across the region have let the holiday play their heartstrings, donating more than $97,313.98 to the Santa Fund, a local charity that provides for the needs of children all year long.
Created in 1894 by The Daily Progress’ founding publisher James H. Lindsey, the fund is in its quasquicentennial fund raising effort. It is co-sponsored by The Daily Progress and radio station WINA-AM in conjunction with the United Way of Greater Charlottesville.
The fund is one of the nation’s longest running newspaper-sponsored charities at 125 years old and organizers are hoping to raise $175,000 this year to provide everything from shoes and medicine to eyeglasses and coats.
As of Christmas morning, the fund has only $77,686.02 to go to meet the goal. The fundraising effort will continue into January.
The Santa Fund is both simple and efficient. The money raised in the area stays in the area and there is little paperwork as a child’s need is the qualifying factor, not a family’s income.
People donate to the fund during the holidays, although donations are accepted all year long. Often the donations are dedicated to the memory of loved ones.
During the year, school teachers, principals, pastors and others who see a child with a need the family cannot meet may contact the fund to arrange a one-time voucher to a participating retailer to address the problem.
The fund serves children in Charlottesville and Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Nelson and Orange counties.
Also stepping up are participating retailers who accept the Santa Fund vouchers. Those include Marshalls stores in Charlottesville, Fredericksburg and Glen Allen; Roses near Charlottesville, Waynesboro and Ashland; and TJ Maxx in Albemarle County, Culpeper, Richmond, Harrisonburg and Staunton.
Also offering services is Kid to Kid, in Charlottesville; Shoe Show in Orange, Fredericksburg, Lynchburg and Madison Heights; Second Times the Charm in Orange; and Terry’s Place in Orange.
CVS Pharmacies in Albemarle County, Charlottesville and Fluvanna County assist with the medicines and LensCrafters, Drs. Nelson and Clauss Optometrist and The Spectacle Shop in Charlottesville and Albemarle County assist with eye wear for those in need.
Contributions may be mailed to Santa Fund, 806 E. High St., Charlottesville, Va., 22902. Contributions may also be made online at thesantafund.org
» Anonymous, $500
» Kirk and Katherine Jacobs, $100
» Bybee’s Road Baptist Church “The Study Group” Sunday School Class, $128.20
» Belinda and Wayne, $102.56
In Memory of Fred Taylor, $102.56
» In memory of our dear son, Greg Pace.We miss and love you very much, but our comfort is to know you are no longer in pain. May you have a Merry Christmas with all of our love ones. Love you, Mom, Dad and Family, $51.28
» UVA Law Library staff in memory of our colleague Jackie Hall (1954-1993), $1,305
» Becky Bartness, $102.56
Today’s total: $1,792.16
Running total: $97,313.98
To reach goal: $77,686.02