The Commercial begins its annual fundraiser to help area school children for the 24th year today.

The Commercial begins its annual fundraiser to help area school children for the 24th year today.

Since 1987, the newspaper has sponsored the annual Christmas Card Fund. Individuals, families, school children, sororities and other groups donate funds to the program each year.

The fund is promoted between Thanksgiving and Christmas and all proceeds are divided between the four local school districts ó Watson Chapel, Pine Bluff, White Hall and Dollarway ó to be used to help less fortunate children.

Every year, The Commercial hears stories about how the fund helped children who didnít have warm coats, clothes, shoes or even eye glasses. Sometimes, schools have used the program to help entire families who faced tragedies such as house fires which destroyed everything.

Last year, an educator from the Dollarway School District said the district was able to purchase 15 pairs of shoes for children.

Thousands of dollars have been raised throughout the years. Thereís no administration costs at the newspaper and all the proceeds go to the schools. Participants who contribute at least $1 will have their names published on a Christmas Card in the newspaper which usually runs before Christmas Day.

Interested donors may send contributions to The Commercialís Christmas Card Fund, c/o Pine Bluff Commercial, P.O. Box 6469, Pine Bluff, AR, 71611. Donations may also be brought to the office at 300 Beech St., weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.