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Empty Stocking Club making a difference since 1918 -- with your help

November 25, 2018 GMT

When you give to the Empty Stocking Club, you’re doing more than simply providing a toy.

A story from the Dec. 16, 1925, newspaper sums it up well: “You are protecting the child from the ravages of distrust, of hopelessness, of that feeling that the world is against one, or doesn’t care. You are giving the child faith in humanity’s good will and generosity.”

Since 1918, the Empty Stocking Club — with your help — has been giving hope to children in our area by making sure they have at least one nice gift to open at Christmastime. In honor of the charity’s 100th anniversary, the State Journal is hoping to raise $300,000 to serve even more children. Last year, readers contributed nearly $270,000.


The charity was started years ago by State Journal staffers who saw need in their community and wanted to brighten the holidays for poor children. The paper enlisted the help of readers, who generously answered the call — both then, and now.

Here’s how it works: Readers donate money, and the State Journal buys the toys, identifies the families and sets up the distribution effort. Last year, the Empty Stocking Club served about 4,000 families, giving away 15,000 toys.

The State Journal also prints the name of every donor in the newspaper as our way of saying thanks and reflecting the community’s generosity.

If you’d like to become part of the Empty Stocking Club tradition, today’s newspaper contains a donation envelope for your convenience.

You can also contribute online at emptystockingclub.com.

Or mail a check to: Empty Stocking Club, Wisconsin State Journal, P.O. Box 8056, Madison, WI 53708.