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With Thanksgiving over and Christmas fast approaching, The Aegis Empty Stocking Fund has received more generous donations but has a ways to go to reach its 2009 goal.

As of this weekend, $31,900 had been raised for The Empty Stocking Fund; the goal for this year is $80,000.

Special donations of $1,000 were received from Freedom Federal Credit Union and from the Harford County Electrical Contractors Assn. Inc.; Cook Motorcars Ltd. donated $1,500.

Additional contributions have been received from Lawrence W. Bain Jr., $100; Ron and Lynda Kerdasha, $150; Charles and Rosemary Lyons, $100; Robert and Janice Oatman, $100; Greg and Amy White, $100; Wink and Herb Jonas, $100; Esther E. Dombrowski, $200; Jonathan’s Florist staff, $100; Vera and Irving Pratt, $200; Marge and Dick Herd, $100; and Laurel and Thomas Stocks, $150. Several anonymous donations were also received.

The Empty Stocking Fund is a charitable organization sponsored by Homestead Publishing Co., which publishes The Aegis, The Record, The Aegis Weekenders and APG News. The fund was organized in 1990 to provide the basics of a Christmas celebration to needy families with an emphasis on helping families with young children.

Each Christmas season many Harford County families are helped by the Empty Stocking Fund by the kindness and generosity of the people who contribute to the fund. Families with young children receive food and toys; seniors get help with food and electric bills.

The money will be used to help people in need, those who have been laid off and are unemployed, those whose hours have been cut or those who are disabled and can’t work. The need is great and the donations are slowly coming in.

Everyone who works with the Empty Stocking Fund Committee is a volunteer, many are current or former employees of The Aegis. Every cent of every dollar donated goes directly to help someone in need. All administrative costs are borne by Homestead Publishing Co.

Donations may be mailed to The Empty Stocking Fund, P.O. Box 189, Bel Air, MD 21014, or dropped off at The Aegis, 10 Hays St., Bel Air. And new, unwrapped toys can be dropped off in The Aegis lobby Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The Peer Helpers Club of North Harford Middle School and Youth’s Benefit Elementary School’s second-graders are both collecting toys for the fund, while shoppers at Barnes and Noble, 620 Marketplace Drive in Bel Air, can buy a book for a child to be donated to the Empty Stocking Fund.

NVS Hair Salon, 312 N. Main St., is offering a free eyebrow wax with the donation of a new toy.

Toys may also be dropped off at The Arena Club, Churchville Road; Bank of America, Beard’s Hill Shopping Plaza; all branches of BB&T Bank; Dollar General, Whiteford; Elite Spine and Wellness, Emmorton Professional Building, Laurel Bush Road; Enotria Restaurant and Grill, Newport Drive, Forest Hill; Family Generation Hair Care, 1301 E. Churchville Road; Five Star Consigning Connections, 2913 Emmorton Road; all locations of Freedom Federal Credit Union: 2019 Emmorton Road and 1304 Churchville Road, both in Bel Air, Hoadley and Blackhawk roads, Edgewood Area, APG, and 1830-C Pulaski Highway, Havre de Grace; Jordan Thomas Salon and Spa, 111 Fulford Ave., Bel Air; Kelly’s Hair Design, 604 Moores Mill Road, Bel Air; Lombardo’s Market, 4064 Norrisville Road, Jarrettsville; Long and Foster Realtors, Route 40, Riverside; M&T Bank, 6960 Delta Road, Delta; National Bank of Rising Sun, 3535 Conowingo Road, Street; Parris Castoro, 620 Boulton St. in Bel Air and 437 Girard St. in Havre de Grace; PNC Bank, Main Street and Bond Street, Bel Air; Point Breeze Credit Union, 410 S. Atwood Road, Bel Air; and Susquehanna Bank, 1525 Rock Spring Road, Forest Hill.

The Aegis Empty Stocking Fund does not solicit donations door-to-door. Any such appeals for donations are unauthorized and should be reported to the proper authorities.

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