The National Honor Society of Harlan County High School participated in a group service activity as they worked with Jim “Muggins” Bennett, coordinator of the Empty Stocking Fund, in his annual Empty Stocking Fund auction recently.
The Empty Stocking Fund was established to help needy families at Christmas and now serves over 600 families in the Harlan County area. Families are given a large box of food items, and each family receives gifts for their children.
In addition to adult volunteers, the Empty Stocking Fund also received help from the National Honor Society. NHS students donated their time as they worked the phones at the annual auction on local TV, donated auction items and delivered items to the highest bidders on auction items.
For the first time since the auction’s inception, Bennett had to miss most of the auction due to illness. His wife, Naomi Bennett, attended the event and said this year’s auction came up a little short of the usual amount.
“We usually do around $9,000 to $10,000 at the auction,” Naomi Bennett said. “This time we did right around $6,000.”
She said the lower income from the auction should not present a problem, since there are still donations coming in.
“We’ve still got about a week,” Naomi Bennett said. “I was short on my gifts for the older kids, 10 through 18. I got a call yesterday. They’ve got a truck coming in from Louisville from Toys for Tots. They’re coming Saturday.”
She mentioned they had also collected about $600 from a roadblock, and Sand Hill Baptist Church made approximately $1,300 with a bake and hot dog sale.
“I think if donations keep coming in like they have been, we’ll be OK,” said Naomi Bennett.
She had nothing but good things to say about the volunteers who helped with the auction.
“We had good help,” said Bennett.