Truth Frequency Radio
Nov 26, 2014

HUNTINGTON When it comes to helping fulfill a specific need for a child or adult in poverty during the holidays, Tri-State community members always come through, said Sidney Polan of Information and Referral.

Polan assists The Herald-Dispatch and local social service agencies with the Empty Stockings project, a list which for more than 15 years has been published in the newspaper to share the needs of 100 people. They’re as young as babies and as old as senior citizens, all of whom have mostly practical needs, like a team sweatshirt and toboggan to keep warm in the winter, a new high chair for a developmentally disabled child, or a blanket for a cancer patient to keep the chill away during chemo treatments.

Local agencies have sent Information and Referral the details about the needs, and Polan compiles the list, which will be published in the Thanksgiving Day edition of the paper, and a few more times throughout the holiday giving season, Polan said. The real names of the individuals are not listed, but there will be an actual contact name and number for givers to find out details about where to bring their donations. The contacts can be reached during work hours on weekdays.

The list is an effort to make sure needs are met, and that if there are duplications, they get to the best place, Polan said. They’re remarkable stories in and of themselves, she said.

“There’s a homeless man who wants to stay outdoors but needs a new tent that doesn’t have a hole in it,” she said. “These are real people with really touching stories, and I try to tell them very plainly. … We try to find things that are reasonable.”

There’s one elderly man who lives alone and would simply like some homemade goodies. There are children who need new shoes for school, shoes that don’t have holes in them.

“We have found that this community is so generous,” Polan said. “I really do trust the Tri-State area that these wishes will be filled because we historically have a beautiful record on that.”