Empty Stocking Fund

The Charlotte Observer helps raise money for The Salvation Army to give gifts and necessities to those in need.

The Charlotte Observer has sponsored the Empty Stocking Fund since about 1920. All money contributed goes to The Salvation Army’s Christmas Center, which buys toys, food, clothing and gift cards for families.

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‘The need is still great.’ Empty Stocking Fund helps Salvation Army Christmas program

By Joe Marusak
The Charlotte Observer

The COVID-19 pandemic led to an unprecedented spike last year in the number of children and families needing holiday gift assistance from donors to the local Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program. And while the number of families seeking help this year is expected to be down a little, as more people return to the workforce, “the need is still very great,” Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte Major Wilma Mason told the Observer.
“While most would believe that we’re coming out of (the) pandemic, the reality is, The Salvation Army realizes, having worked in disasters for so many years, ...the repercussions of an event go on for years,” Mason said.

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After saying yes to a life-changing request, Charlotte mom needs holiday season help

By Vanessa Infanzon
Special Correspondent
The Charlotte Observer

When Charlotte resident Deherda Brown’s neighbor asked for a favor, she never imagined it would result in caring for an infant. One Monday in late July, a neighbor asked Brown to take custody of Raven Green, a 13-day-old infant who was the neighbor’s god-daughter.
Brown provided few details about the reasons behind the neighbor’s unexpected request. Brown asked to be the last resort and suggested family and friends.

But on that Friday, little Raven was delivered to Brown by Child Protective Services with nothing but a two-week supply of formula from the hospital: Brown was indeed the baby’s last resort.

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Charlotte dad recovering from car wreck grateful for holiday help for his kids

By Vanessa Infanzon
Special Correspondent
The Charlotte Observer

A simple trip to the store to get milk for their children turned into a major crisis for Fernando Guerrero and his wife, Cynthia Caro-Guerrero. The couple’s car was hit from behind on Independence Boulevard in Charlotte, causing damage to Fernando’s knees.
Fernando, 39, counts on his body’s strength for the sheet rock he installs in commercial and residential buildings. Since the accident in February, he’s been unable to work until recently. “I just started working again,” Fernando said. “I have some pain, but I’m working again.”

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Angel Tree program helps Charlotte couple from the Congo with kids’ Christmas gifts

By Vanessa Infanzon
Special Correspondent
The Charlotte Observer

Jully Nsiamfumu moved from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa to Charlotte in 2014 under the Diversity Visa Program, an initiative to bring applicants to the U.S. from countries with low immigration numbers here.
“You’re supposed to have someone to welcome you into the United States,” said Nsiamfumu, 38. “I had a friend here (in Charlotte.)”
Nsiamfumu and his wife, 33-year-old Irene Landu, and their three children live in East Charlotte in a house they own. Nsiamfumu has worked in the chip plant at the Campbell Soup Company for six years.

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'It can change someone's life': Past Angel Tree recipient inspired to help others

By Catherine Muccigrosso
The Charlotte Observer

Matthews resident Elizabeth McNiel wants people to know that giving to the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program changes lives. It did for her.
Six years ago, McNiel applied for the Christmas program that provides gifts for families in need after she said she lost everything fighting for custody of three of her grandchildren. Christmas is supposed to be the best day of the year, she said at the time, and that’s what she wanted for her grandkids.

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