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Tri-City Empty Stocking Fund a success

The 38th Annual Empty Stocking Fund ended another successful year with the help of its many volunteers. The Empty Stocking Fund is a non-profit organization, established in 1980, that distributes food boxes and gifts to local families in need every Christmas season.

Jeff and Linda Sim extended thanks to their community for helping with the annual Empty Stocking Fund. More than 200 people aided in its success through continued support and generous donations, according to a letter from Jeff Sim.

Sim gave thanks to the volunteers that continue the work of Jim “Muggins” Bennett. Special thanks were extended to Naomi Bennett, Muggins’ wife, for helping to continue his legacy.

“We missed Muggins’ fun-loving sense of humor and his love for others, but so many of you who have worked with Empty Stocking for years represent all that he was, which is why the event goes so well each year,” Sim said. “We are so grateful for those who were able to help with the auction, application sign up, putting the boxes together and filling them and the deliveries.”

Sim went on in his letter to describe how the event was a great tribute to Muggins Bennett and the work he did for 36 years. The Sims, Naomi Bennett, and a slew of volunteers have continued his work for the past two years since his death.

Each year, the Empty Stocking Fund provides 600 baskets with food and gifts that weigh over 100 pounds each. The baskets are then delivered to local families in need.

“Again, this year we had 600 families and individuals sign up, who were in need of help and were blessed with the food and gifts. Each child received two gifts, and those who live alone received a special gift,” Sim said.

Through the “Home Alone” program, food baskets and a gift are also sent out to elderly people who have no one to spend the holidays with.

Sim says there is still a need for this organization and the help it provides families during the holidays.

“The need for help continues in the Tri-Cities area, especially at Christmas,” Sim said. “It broke Muggins’ heart, as it does ours, to see families go without a good Christmas dinner and children who didn’t get any gifts.”

Sim added that he hopes to continue the Empty Stocking Fund and to continue spreading the love Muggins Bennett had for the community.

“We will be working throughout the year preparing for the 39th Annual Empty Stocking Fund events. It is our hope that you will join us again this year and for years to come!” Sim said.

Sim also encourages people to stay up-to-date on future events by searching the Tri-Cities Empty Stocking Fund Facebook page and “liking” it. The page posts various upcoming events, pictures and local news.

For more information on the event or to make a donation, call Jeff or Linda Sim at 606-848-0550. Make checks payable to Heritage Ministries Tri-City Empty Stocking Fund and mail to Heritage Ministries, P.O. Box 821, Lynch, KY 40855.