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KENLY — Kenly Area Ministries’ annual Empty Stocking Fund to purchase food, clothing and gifts for families who are not able to provide Christmas for their children is underway.
The program began in November and will run through Dec 31.
The program is designed for children 12 and under with some 123 kids receiving benefits last year, according to Kenly Area Ministries volunteer Ann Arant. The charity says 43 families and 14 seniors also received Christmas gifts.
Rick and Karen Stewart, former owners of the Kenly News — now published as the Johnstonian News — started the Empty Stocking Fund for Kenly Area Ministries some 25 years ago.
Kenly Area Ministries Director Luther Bryant said the fund raised more than $10,000 last year and this year’s goal is $8,000.
“With more children than had been expected in the program last year, KAM relied on generous donations from several local businesses to achieve its goal,” said Arant.
Kenly Area Ministries is accepting Empty Stocking Fund donations at its 206 W. Second St. office from 9-10:30 a.m. on Mondays, 2-3 p.m. on Tuesdays, 2-4 p.m. on Wednesdays and 9-10:30 a.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. To arrange a contribution at another time, call 919-631-4259.
Donations can also be mailed to P.O. Box 1168, Kenly, NC 27542. Make checks payable to KAM or Kenly Area Ministries
“Every year, the people of the Kenly area give generously to the families and also senior citizens who are struggling to meet their bills due to limited income,” said Arant. “Our community has a history of coming together to support one another in times of crisis. We appreciate everyone’s generous support offered in the past and hope that you will consider giving to those who may be less fortunate this Christmas season.”