Little Red Stockings raise money

PARKERSBURG – The Children’s Home Society of West Virginia’s Little Red Stocking fundraising campaign, a 200-year tradition, is underway for this holiday season.

The project kicked off the day after Thanksgiving and runs through Christmas Eve with all proceeds from the sale of the $1 red paper stockings going to fund programs and services provided to the local area children and families served by the Children’s Home Society. Donations of $1 or more are made, and the stockings with the donor’s names on them are placed on display at the local participating businesses, like Applebee’s restaurant of Vienna.

Last year the campaign raised about $12,000 locally. This year’s goal is $15,000.

“We love to participate in these types of events, we are part of the community and we like to help the community and give back. Of course, it can’t happen without community support. I just spoke to our vice president today and at the 23 stores we have raised $23,000 so far and we’re looking forward to doubling that,” said Thane Taylor, general manager of the Vienna Applebee’s restaurant, one of the corporate sponsors for the Little Red Stocking Campaign.

Taylor said the restaurant participates in a number of fundraisers for local charities, including selling shamrocks for Muscular Dystrophy, raising funds for the humane society and sponsoring pancake breakfasts for local groups and organizations and sponsors activities in conjunction with area veterans.

“We are based out of Hazard, Ky., but those of working here live and work and have children here in this community so it’s awesome to be able to give back,” Taylor said.

The local Applebee’s, as of Tuesday morning, had raised more than $4,000 for the children’s home society already.

Local Go-Marts, Foodlands, convenience stores, Applebee’s, Peoples Bank, BB&T bank and United Bank, Green Kiwi Yogurt shops, Workingman’s Store, North End Tavern, businesses in Williamstown, Vienna, Parkersburg all participate, according to Shelley Plauche, site manager/regional director with the CHS.

“The goal this year locally is to rase $15,000 and it all stays within the community for the children and families we serve. This is our largest fundraising campaign of the year, and we appreciate all the support from the local businesses who sell the stockings and all the individuals who donate,” Plauche said.

Last year, Applebee’s restaurants raised more than $30,000 for the cause.

“We hope to raise a total of over $40,000 this year,” Taylor said.

Although $1 donation is asked for the stockings, you can donate as much as you want.

White said someone donated $100 for a stocking at the Athens Applebee’s one year.

“It all stays right here to support our kids,” Plauche said.

“We became involved with the Red Stocking campaign locally about ten years ago. We serve Wood and all the surrounding counties,” said Carna Metheney-White, child and family services supervisor with CHS and a coordinator for the Little Red Stocking campaign.

The local Children’s Home Society is at 1717 St. Marys Ave.

The Little Red Stocking campaign dates back to the 1800s when school-aged children saved their pennies all year long and put them in socks. Just before Christmas they would take them to their local schools. Once the pennies were collected, the principal would take the coin-filled socks to a nearby orphanage in an effort to help children who were left without families. This heartfelt giving provided each child with a new coat, hat, gloves and one new toy. The children would wake up Christmas morning to find they had gifts under the tree and they had not been forgotten.

Children’s Home Society services include adoption, shelter services, WECAN volunteer services, Right from the Start Program, home-based services, foster care, youth services, truancy diversion, day care, child advocacy center, Birth to Three Program, teen pregnancy and transitional living.