Millions of Americans began their holiday shopping over the holiday weekend, but for plenty of people in York, Chester and Lancaster counties, there simply isn’t money to spare on presents.
That’s where the United Way’s Holiday Partners comes in. The combined effort, once called the Sleigh Bell Network, includes The Herald’s Empty Stocking Fund and WRHI’s Toys for Happiness.
Many local businesses and individuals have made donating to Holiday Partners an annual tradition.
“I try to give every year because I see the need in my court every day,” York County Family Court Judge David Guyton said.
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While his family is blessed enough to buy gifts for one another, he said, Guyton knows not all families are as fortunate.
“We want to make sure as many kids as possible see something under the tree Christmas morning,” Guyton said.
Holiday Partners serves families with children up to age 14.
The Empty Stocking Fund collects monetary donations to bridge the gap between families in need and donated toys. Toys For Happiness collects donated toys. Both efforts are coordinated by the United Way of York County to maximize the community impact.
The Empty Stocking Fund serves York, Chester and Lancaster counties. Donations received from people in Lancaster and Chester counties are sent directly to agencies in those counties – not to the Holiday Partners effort, which serves only York County.
Donations of new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Happiness or monetary donations to the Empty Stocking Fund will be collected through Dec. 22.