Carl Stuart Middle School administrators said Thursday it was the Community Christmas Card fund that provided for two students whose home burned in a fire a week ago.
"The next day our counselor went to get the children clothes as the family figured out how to even start the process. They didn’t have a toothbrush. They didn’t have anything, said Herky Sullins, CSMS bookkeeper.
The school’s portion of the unrestricted fund has just been depleted, she said.
"We use the fund every year, whether it’s on school supplies or house fires," said Lena Priest, CSMS counselor.
The Community Christmas Card is a fundraiser led each year by the Log Cabin Democrat. For the donation of $1 or more, a participant’s name will be printed in the Dec. 25, Christmas Day edition of the Log Cabin. The Community Christmas Card, a special section isnside the paper, lists thousands of community members who contributed or those in whose names contributions were made.
"A woman who lost her job was three months behind on rent, and she was starting two more jobs. Her landlords were working with her, but she needed to pay something," Sullins said. "She had two children in middle school and was about to have her granddaughter as well because her daughter was being shipped overseas with the military."
Administrators of the school’s fund elected to assist the mother of one of their students.
"We were able to help her with rent to give her some time. If you don’t have a warm place to stay, you can’t do your homework. You can’t make it to school," Sullins said.
Sullins said the school uses the fund to buy clothes, pay for doctor and dental visits, and to pay for glasses and medication.
"Anything like that, just whatever they need. We’ve depleted it this year," Sullins said.
Priest said the school has a lot of students who would go without if the fund did not exist.
"It’s there for us to use for kids who need it, and we’ve got a lot of kids that need it unfortunately. Almost every time we register a kid, their mom will say she needs help with school supplies," she said. "We’re very thankful for the fund. This takes the burden off of us a little because we spend our own money out of pocket."
Priest said teachers at Carl Stuart Middle School make their own contribution to the Community Christmas Card.
"We put a little envelope out by our staff sign-in sheet. There are several signatures on it. You could say they’re investing back in the school," she said.
According to calculations Thursday, this year’s contributions are down from years past. The fund was at about $4,500 Thursday afternoon, organizers said.
There are 1,700 names to be added to the card.
"We are considerably under where we were at this point last year. I urge people to please donate to our efforts this year," said Cynthia Crabb, Log Cabin business manager. "Our schools rely on these funds each year to help students of all ages in need throughout the Faulkner County area."
Names and donations for the Community Christmas Card will be taken at the Log Cabin Democrat office at 1111 Main St., Suite 102 in Federal Plaza in Conway.
To donate by mail, send names and donations to Community Christmas Card, P.O. Box 969, Conway, AR 72033.
Donations may also be made online by visiting http://thecabin.net/christmas-card
Donations will be accepted until Wednesday, Dec. 19 at noon.
(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)