Christmas charity needs donations to spread holiday cheer

CUMBERLAND, Ky. (WYMT) - A Harlan County Christmas charity is coming up short on donations, and now, organizers with the Tri-City Empty Stocking Fund are asking the community to help raise money.

The Tri-City Empty Stocking Fund has provided food and toys to needy families in Harlan County for the last 32 years.

The charity's founder says kids love getting toys for Christmas, but some say the food is more important.

"Here comes my friend with the box of food behind me. Those kids look up and see that food, guess what, they drop their toys; they're hungry," said chairman Jim "Muggins" Bennett.

Bennett's wife Naomi has been busy all year wrapping hundreds of Christmas presents, on December 15th they'll all be shipped out to children all across the tri-city region.

What is not clear, however, is how much food will accompany those toys.

The Empty Stocking Fund needs about $21,000 to purchase enough food for the 600 households that are set to receive deliveries.

"I don't want to cut back. It's not fair. These people have got to eat," said Bennett.

But folks have been generous before, organizers say, and they are confident the donations will come through this year too.

A fund-raising auction is being held December 3rd and 4th at Southeast Kentucky Community College in Cumberland.

If you would like to donate to the Empty Stocking Fund, call (606) 589-5130.

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