Every year at the holidays, The Herald Bulletin turns to the community for help with two important initiatives: the Madison County area’s Person of the Year and the Empty Stocking Fund.

We’re currently seeking nominations for the 2019 Person of the Year. Past winners include business owners, a school administrator, coaches, leaders of charitable organizations, a church minister, a historian and others.

James Warner, organizer of the community Thanksgiving meal, community activist and familiar voice on the radio, was the 2018 Person of the year.

We’re taking your nominations for the 2019 honoree through Dec. 12. Email your nomination to me or mail it to me in care of The Herald Bulletin, 1133 Jackson St., Anderson, IN 46016.

Madison County area residents are eligible.

Include in your nomination specifics about why you admire the person, their impact on the community during 2019 and past contributions. Make sure to include contact information for yourself and the nominee.

The community Person of the Year will be selected by the editorial board of The Herald Bulletin and will be announced in the Wednesday, Jan. 1, edition.

In addition to the Person of the Year selection, the editorial board will choose a handful of nominees to highlight in the Jan. 1 newspaper.

While the Person of the Year is a selective award to recognize someone who made a major positive difference in the community in 2019, everyone can make a difference for local families by contributing to the Empty Stocking Fund.

A collaboration between The Herald Bulletin and the local Salvation Army, the Empty Stocking Fund provides resources to help local families in need at the holidays and throughout the coming year.

Each Christmas season the Salvation Army helps provide about 1,500 children with toys, food and clothes.

Last year, the Empty Stocking Fund raised $16,428. This year’s goal is to again top $15,000.

We needed a boost of several thousand dollars to top the goal last year after an extension of the deadline in January. This time around, we’re hoping to top $15,000 before the calendar rolls over to the new year.

I’m pledging $100 to the fund. If we can get 149 others to equal that contribution, we’ll reach the goal.

If you can contribute more than $100, all the better. If you need to limit your donation to less, don’t worry; every little bit will help a local family in a tough spot.

No donation is too small — or too large!

Contribute to the Empty Stocking Fund by mailing or bringing cash or a check (made out to the Salvation Army) to The Herald Bulletin, 1133 Jackson St., Anderson, IN 46016. The newspaper office is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The Herald Bulletin will publish donors’ names and donation amounts regularly until Christmas Day. The Empty Stocking Fund will also accept anonymous gifts.

Editor Scott Underwood’s column is published Mondays in The Herald Bulletin. Contact him at scott.underwood@heraldbulletin.com or 765-640-4845.

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