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Empty Stocking Fund

Dec. 18–Each year, The Herald organizes The Empty Stocking Fund, a holiday
assistance effort to help needy families in the newspaper’s readership area.

Contributions will be divided among eight local nonprofits this year. They are
Fort Mill Care Center, Clover Area Assistance Center, Pilgrims’ Inn, The Turning
Point of Chester, Hope, PATH (People Attempting to Help), Salvation Army and
Tender Hearts House of Hope.

Contributions to the Empty Stocking Fund can be mailed to P.O. Box 10921, Rock
Hill, SC 29731. Contributors’ names will be published in The Herald.

Agency: Fort Mill Care Center, 513 Banks St., Fort Mill.

Services offered: Provides food and assistance with rent, utilities and with
life-sustaining prescription drugs to those who live within the Fort Mill school

By the numbers: So far this year, the center has assisted 3,067 clients,
compared to more than 4,400 it helped last year. The center has helped almost
6,800 people, or 2,400 families, with food so far this year. Last year, that
number was more than 7,600 people, or 2,700 families. This year, the center gave
away 149,000 pounds of food, compared to 159,000 pounds last year. The center
has spent $20,000 in federal funds for rent, $73,000 for utilities and $30,000
for prescriptions this year.

What they are seeing now: Hugh Mullis, director of the care center, said the
center is still seeing many families seeking assistance, mostly with food and
medication. But he said the center staff hasn’t seen quite as many as they did
last year. Individuals also are coming in and requesting help with their utility

Example of a recent individual/family served: "We’ve had a lady in that had a
gas bill and an electric bill and we were able to help her with both of them and
to keep them from being cut," Mullis said.

Sources of funding: Donations from businesses, churches, civic organizations,
individuals and the United Way of York County.

Annual budget: Last year, the center gave $122,000 in assistance, compared to
$105,000 this year.

Brief history: The agency was started during the mid-1980s by the Fort Mill
Ministerial Association to help residents within the Fort Mill school district.

Title: Empty Stocking Fund
Authors: Ford, Tamara
Source: Herald, The (Rock Hill, SC); 12/18/2006

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