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Cheer Fund announces stretch goal

In what has been a terribly difficult year for all of us, there have still been bright lights — and many of those lights shine simply because someone decided to help someone else in need.

Two weeks ago in this space, we told you that the Cheer Fund, which annually collects money to help purchase toys for children from families in need right here in Suffolk, was more than halfway to its goal around the first week of December, which is an unprecedented early response to our annual fundraising campaign.

We now have the happy news to share with you that this year’s Cheer Fund campaign met its $40,000 goal a full week before Christmas.

Whether your donation was $5 or $5,000, we are grateful for each and every person, family, group, organization and foundation that found space in your heart this year for the children of Suffolk. Your donation is helping children discover the Christmas spirit anew in this year in which they, too, have had difficult moments with virtual school, not being able to see their friends, and, unfortunately, perhaps even the illness or death of family members. Some families may have been in a position this year to ask for help that they never were before after many people were laid off or had their hours reduced. Your donation helped bring them joy, and for that, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Now that we have reached our goal, however, we won’t stop here. In order to build a cushion for future years, we are announcing a “stretch goal” of $45,000, and we hope that if you haven’t donated yet, you will help us meet it.

To donate to the Cheer Fund, send a check to P.O. Box 1220, Suffolk, VA 23439 or bring it to the newspaper’s temporary office, 157 N. Main St., from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. We will list your donation in the newspaper, but it can be marked “anonymous” if you like. Donations may be made in honor of or in memory of someone. If you bring the check to our office, we’ll even take your picture as you hand it to one of our staff.

Online giving is available through the link on the Suffolk Cheer Fund Facebook page.

For more information on the Cheer Fund, call 757-539-3437.