JROTC Cadets Carry On Legacy Of Collecting for The Empty Stocking Fund’s 85th Year, With Help of Metro Atlanta Kroger Stores
On Saturday, November 3rd and Sunday, November 4th, visitors to metro Atlanta Kroger stores were likely to be met by a smiling, uniformed JROTC cadet with an Empty Stocking Fund logo, as more than 2,000 cadets representing 30 metro Atlanta high schools’ JROTC programs will be worked outside metro Kroger stores to raise awareness of and contributions for The Empty Stocking Fund, an Atlanta-based, Atlanta-serving non-profit organization that has been providing holiday gifts to Atlanta’s neediest children since 1926.
This year, the charity expects a record number of children — more than 55,000 — to need their services. According to Manda Hunt, The Empty Stocking Fund’s Executive Director, the contributions collected by the JROTC volunteers are a crucial part of that effort. “Not only do they raise a lot of money to help children in need, but they help increase visibility for our organization. That’s so important to a grassroots organization like ours.”
The partnership with JROTC is a long-standing tradition that dates back to the 1930s. It was established based on the community spirit of young people helping young people. Over a two-day period, thousands of JROTC volunteers from metro Atlanta high schools collected donations throughout their communities. Approximately 2,500 JROTC cadets representing the Army, Navy Air Force and Marines, raised close to $80,000 for the organization, enough to provide gift packages to 4,000 children.
“The JROTC Drive weekend is a great experience to work with these young people and share their enthusiasm in helping the less fortunate families in our communities,” said Glynn Jenkins, director of communications and public relations for Kroger’s Atlanta Division.
“Since the economic downturn of 2008, donations have dropped while the number of children who need our services has continued to rise,” said Hunt. “This year more than ever, The Empty Stocking Fund needs the support of the Atlanta community. If you see a cadet in your neighborhood, please support their efforts by making a contribution.”
About The Empty Stocking Fund
The Empty Stocking Fund empowers parents and guardians of children living at or below the poverty level throughout metro Atlanta by providing them with an opportunity to give their children gifts at Christmas time. Through relationships with wholesale distributors, the non-profit organization purchases brand new items in sufficient quantities to offer a variety of age- and gender-appropriate choices. For more information or to make a contribution, please visit www.emptystockingfund.org.