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OUR VIEW: Red Stocking is about you and the kids

THE ISSUE: Annual Red Stocking fund drive

OUR VIEW: Need names of needy children — and your help — by Dec. 5

Soon, you will begin seeing a list of names regularly in The Times. These are important names.

Next to the names you will see dollar amounts: $20 ... $50 ... $100 ... sometimes less and sometimes more.

This is how we build the Red Stocking fund every year. People sending us or walking in our door and dropping dollars on our counter. And every year it seems to work out.

Also important — and what this annual program is all about — are the names of the children we are given — children who may go without gifts this Christmas if no one helps.

Those names started rolling in this month so hundreds of local families can get help. The deadline for submitting names of children in need will be Wednesday, Dec. 5. Names will be accepted in person at either the Ottawa or Streator office or by mail using the form printed in the paper. Forms must be filled out completely and be legible, or will be disqualified. We would prefer those submitting names do so in person at the Ottawa or Streator office.

The program survives on donations from the communities served. Those who make donations will be listed in the newspaper.

The goal this year is the same as last year, to raise $62,000 to help needy children in our area.

Red Stocking donations are used for gifts of toys, games, books and food items that go directly to children up to age 12 in needy families in The Times' circulation area.

Red Stocking delivered gifts last year to hundreds of children.

Many volunteers make this project a success each year. The Zonta Club of Ottawa, for many years, has done the buying and wrapping and coordinates delivery to an area that covers most of La Salle County. The Streator Kiwanis Club oversees buying, wrapping and delivery in the Streator area.

Funds are not used for administrative or staffing expenses. Donations are not solicited door-to-door but are delivered or mailed to The Times' offices in Ottawa or Streator.

Volunteers deliver gifts each year. Delivery this year will be Saturday, Dec. 15. Details will be announced closer to the delivery date.

How to submit names of needy children:

The deadline for submitting names of needy children is Wednesday, Dec. 5.  Forms for submitting names are available at our Ottawa and Streator offices. The form must be filled out at either office. Names will not be accepted via phone or email. We do not deliver to La Salle-Peru, Oglesby, Mendota, or Spring Valley. The Times offices are located at 110 W. Jefferson St., Ottawa, and 115 Oak St., Streator.

It’s always hard each year to tell people the deadline for taking names is over. So please note the deadline for submitting us names is Dec. 5.

Many donors give to Red Stocking in memory or in honor of friends and family. There are forms in the paper for donors to use.

This holiday season, please remember those who have less and help us give them a bit more.

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