White Hall School District Superintendent Larry Smith said that The Commercial's Christmas Card Fund is an extremely important resource.

White Hall School District Superintendent Larry Smith said that The Commercial’s Christmas Card Fund is an extremely important resource.

“We make sure that money gets back to the kids, especially those in need during this time of year,” Smith said. “Each of our campuses have committees put together to determine where the needs are.”

Smith said that prescription glasses and clothing are some of the more needed items.

“Some may not realize it, but in the White Hall district we have kids from all different kinds of circumstances,” Smith said. “Sometimes there are kids who are taken out of homes with nothing more than the clothes on their backs. We have counselors who make sure that any needs by our students are identified. This can cover a wide range of things.

“The Christmas Card Fund makes a huge difference for those kids,” Smith said. “School districts don’t have a lot of disposable cash to help students in these circumstances, so the Christmas Card Fund fills that need. Sometimes teachers and other school employees use their own money to purchase items, but the fund keeps them from having to possibly take away from their own families.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Christmas Card Fund has raised $902.

For 25 years, the newspaper has sponsored the fundraiser to benefit needy children in Watson Chapel, Pine Bluff, Dollarway and White Hall schools.

The newspaper collects the funds, which are divided among the four area school districts. All the proceeds are given to the schools and no money is kept for administrative costs at The Commercial.

In 2011, the fund raised $8,448.35. People contributing at least $1 by Dec. 19 will have their names printed on a Christmas Card that will be published in the newspaper before Christmas Day.

Donors may send contributions to The Commercial’s 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.

For those submitting a long list with names from classrooms or other organizations, The Commercial asks that the list be submitted by email to rbaldwin@pbcommercial.com on the same day the money is turned into the newspaper.