When The Commercial began its Christmas Card Fund in 1987, the purpose was to help students with needs in the four area school districts.

Most of the time, we’ve heard about children who needed clothes or shoes, but sometimes the fund has been used in far greater ways, according to a Pine Bluff School District official.

“During this time of the year, there are always students who lose their personal items in a house fire,” Robbie Williams, a long-time educator, said.

“This family lost everything,” she recalled. “The Christmas Card Fund was able to reach out and provide uniforms, coats and shoes to the students who were affected.”

Stories like this remind us that the fundraiser is still necessary. That’s why we give the community a chance to make donations to the Christmas Card Fund which helps children in need in the Pine Bluff, Watson Chapel, Dollarway and White Hall school districts. No money is kept for administrative reasons. The fund is distributed among the districts by student population.

For 31 years, The Commercial has sponsored the annual Christmas Card Fund to help districts provide essentials for students such as eyeglasses, shoes, coats, uniforms or to help a child’s family when tragedy occurs.

Individuals, families, area groups, businesses, as well as school children, have participated in the fundraiser each year which begins on Thanksgiving. No donation is too small for this effort.

If you give at least $1 by Dec. 17, your name will be printed on the Community Christmas Card, which is published every year at Christmas time.

Donations should be made to the Christmas Card Fund, care of the Pine Bluff Commercial, P.O. Box 6469, Pine Bluff, AR, 71611. Contributions may also be hand-delivered to The Commercial at 300 S. Beech St. between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

Details: pbcnews@pbcommercial.com or 870-534-3400, ext. 1202, 1211 or 1214.