Dollarway School District Superintendent Bettye Dunn-Wright credits The Commercial's Christmas Card Fund with helping to provide needy students in the district with the necessities.

Dollarway School District Superintendent Bettye Dunn-Wright credits The Commercial’s Christmas Card Fund with helping to provide needy students in the district with the necessities.

“We do benefit from it,” Dunn-Wright said. “Without this fund many of our kids would not have basic necessities, the things that more affluent kids don’t even have on their minds. Thing like clothing, eyeglasses and medicine. This can affect kids when they don’t have these things.”

Dollarway is among the four local districts which benefit from the fundraiser held annually by the newspaper for more than 20 years.

“You have to get the basic needs met before you can do anything else and the Christmas Card Fund assists us in meeting those needs,” Dunn-Wright said. “If kids are worried about shelter and clothing it is almost impossible for them to think about studying. With this fund we can get these needs met and allow the students to focus on their studies.”

The fund also helps boost self-esteem, she said.

“Before they can feel good about themselves they have to have their basic needs taken care of. This fund has really helped to alleviate a lot of these concerns,” Dunn-Wright said.

So far this year, the Christmas Card Fund has raised $8,278.35. Thanks to the generosity of donors, The Commercial raised $9,412.22 last year.

Since 1987, the newspaper 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 funds, which are distributed to the schools to help students in need.

Donors who gave at least a $1 by Dec. 20 were added to the list of names to be printed on a community Christmas card in The Commercial on Christmas Eve.

While the deadline has passed to add names to the card, donations to the Christmas Card Fund may still be brought to the paper’s office at 300 S. Beech St. until 4:30 p.m. Friday.