Fund helps make Christmas Day different from rest

Eric Butler

Barry may look like he enjoys food a little too much, and that there’s a regular supply coming his way.
But what appears to be a lack of self-control for Barry, who is overweight and unable to do much of any kind of activity, is actually a result of health problems. A friend of Barry and his wife Brenda (not their real names) said the couple’s reality is that they’re just able to get by from day to day.
And that includes putting food on the table.
“They live on a fixed income and, by the time they pay their rent and bills, they have no extra money to purchase food, only enough to get by with,” said the friend, who applied to The Salvation Army this holiday season on behalf of Barry and Brenda.
The couple, residents of the area for 35 years, receive Social Security and disability benefits through government assistance. But the money never creates a surplus for the pair, who are given rides to local food pantries to receive available commodities.
Neither Barry nor Brenda drives a car.
Without any extra assistance, the friend said the couple may not know the difference between Christmas and any other day during the year.
“It would be just like any ordinary day — same food from the different commodities they receive. It would be very sad if they could not get Christmas dinner,” said the friend, who is hoping Barry and Brenda can have a meal of turkey, ham and fixings.
Through the Empty Stocking Fund, a joint effort of The Salvation Army and the Clovis News Journal, Barry’s family will receive a food basket that includes pancake mix, peanut butter, jelly, canned goods, cereal, beans, rice, sugar and macaroni and cheese.
Over 400 local families are scheduled to receive the baskets through the Empty Stocking Fund this holiday season.
Donations for the Empty Stocking Fund may be dropped off at the CNJ, 521 Pile St., or mailed to the CNJ, P.O. Box 1689, Clovis 88102-1689. Envelopes should be clearly marked to indicate they contain a donation for the Empty Stocking Fund.
All contributions will be forwarded to The Salvation Army.
People who would like to donate food or new Christmas toys or clothing items may do so at The Salvation Army office, 317 E. Second St..
Information is available by calling the office at 762-3801.