Jack Robey Junior High School Principal Ronald Laurent appreciates the Commercial's Christmas Card Fund for the teaching opportunities it provides.

Jack Robey Junior High School Principal Ronald Laurent appreciates the Commercial’s Christmas Card Fund for the teaching opportunities it provides.

“In the tough economic times we are experiencing now the more that we can help those less fortunate the more that we can show our students what their priorities should be and it changes their attitudes about what life is about,” Laurent said. “Our students have bought into that. We have always supported the fund at Robey. The Christmas Card Fund has always been beneficial especially at Robey because we have a lot of kids in need.

“A lot of times I am asked to sign requests for student needs that are addressed with the fund,” Laurent said. “It varies from situation to situation, from things as simple as a pair of shoes, to a coat and even eyeglasses. We always have kids with needs and so we try to help them. There are also disasters that take place in kids’ lives that they have no control over like house fires and we try to help in that way as well.”

Robey students are also contributors to the fund and its work.

“We have a contest among the homerooms to see who raises the most money during the Christmas Card Fund campaign,” Laurent said. “It’s the spirit of giving. I recently watched a video of a school in Kenya where they have dirt floors and desks that look nothing like what our students have. I am going to show that video to our students at Robey so that they will appreciate what they have here in Pine Bluff. We want them to have pride in what they do and to understand that failure is not an option. The participation of our students in the Christmas Card Fund fits in well with that.”

So far, the Christmas Card Fund has raised $5,242.20 this year.

Since 1987, The Commercial has raised thousands of dollars for students in the Pine Bluff, Watson Chapel, Dollarway and White Hall school districts. The newspaper does not keep any of the funds raised and distributes the money to the schools to help children in need.

Today is the deadline for names to be printed on a Christmas card in the newspaper on Christmas Eve.

Donations may be made to the Christmas Card Fund, c/o the Pine Bluff Commercial, P.O. Box 6469, Pine Bluff, AR, 71611, or contributions may be brought to the office at 300 S. Beech Street.