Empty Stocking Fund tops $100,000 goal

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Although it’s impossible to know which donation pushed the Empty Stocking Fund over its goal of $100,000, it seems almost certain that it came in on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

It might have been the $10 donation from a Fort Walton Beach man or the anonymous $1,000 donation made as a tribute to a Biblical verse.

TODAY’S LIST of contributors.

But when employees of the Northwest Florida Daily News checked the postal box Monday morning, they found at least a dozen checks. Others donated online during the holiday weekend.

The fund, which totaled less than $50,000 two weeks ago, passed its goal by more than $2,000 Monday. More donations are likely to come in before the new year.

“Wow, what a great year. That’s fantastic,” Salvation Army Corp Director Camilo Rojas said. “With that extra money, we will be able to help more families in need.”

Two large donations last week — one for $25,000 and the other for $10,000 — pushed the fund close to its mark. The season of giving also saw a number of $1,000 donations and $500 donations, all of which kept it growing.

But the heart of the Empty Stocking Fund is also the smaller donations; individuals and families giving what they can, whether it’s $10 or $100. Hundreds of individual donations helped to make this year’s fund drive successful.

The final figure is likely to keep on growing as last-minute donations trickle in.

“People keep on giving well into the new year,” said Tom Rice, chairman of the advisory board for the Okaloosa and Walton Salvation Army Chapter. “That’s a wonderful thing.”

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