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This Weekend is The Empty Stocking Fund’s Annual JROTC Drive | Community Spirit

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This Weekend is The Empty Stocking Fund’s Annual JROTC Drive
This Weekend is The Empty Stocking Fund’s Annual JROTC Drive

More than 2,500 JROTC cadets from 30 metro Atlanta high schools
to participate in fundraising effort.

On Saturday, November 5th and Sunday, November 6th, more than 2,500 cadets representing 30 metro Atlanta high schools’ JROTC programs will take to the street to raise awareness of and contributions for The Empty Stocking Fund, an Atlanta-based, Atlanta-serving non-profit organization that provides gifts to more than 50,000 metro area children living in poverty each year. 

“The JROTC Drive is important in several ways,” said Manda Hunt, executive director of The Empty Stocking Fund.  “In addition to increasing visibility and raising contributions for our cause, it encourages students to get involved in their communities by helping others and, in return, hopefully gives them a sense of pride in their contributions.  This is a very important fundraising campaign for a grassroots organization like ours.”

Although The Empty Stocking Fund receives contributions from many of Atlanta’s largest corporations including AMERIGROUP, AT&T, Coca-Cola, Georgia Power, The Home Depot, InterContinental Hotels Group, UPS, and Wells Fargo, the overwhelming majority of the approximate $1.25 million it requires annually comes from individuals who make donations via JROTC Drive contributions, Sponsor-A-Child campaigns at their place of work, or in response to advertisements or mailings. 

The partnership with JROTC is a long-standing tradition that dates back to the 1920s.  It was established based on the community spirit of young people helping young people. Over a two-day period, thousands of volunteers, most of whom are JROTC cadets from metro Atlanta high schools, collect donations throughout their communities.  Last year, approximately 2,500 JROTC cadets representing the Army, Navy Air Force and Marines, raised nearly $74,000 for the organization, enough to provide gift packages to 3,700 children.

As one of the project’s underwriters, Kroger and American Signature Furniture stores will allow the cadets to fundraise onsite at more than 50 metro area stores throughout the weekend. 

“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.

The Empty Stocking Fund only has two full-time employees. Without the generous support of corporate sponsors, individual donors, and volunteers none of this would be possible. 

“With a sluggish economy and increasing unemployment rates, the 2011 Holiday Season promises to bring unique challenges,” Hunt said.  “We expect that many of our recipients, as well as our regular contributors, will be negatively impacted by these difficult financial times.  This year more than ever, The Empty Stocking Fund needs the support of the Atlanta community.  If you see a cadet in your neighborhood this weekend, please support their efforts by making a contribution.”

Below is a list of metro Atlanta high schools participating in The Empty Stocking Fund’s 2011 JROTC Drive.

  • Arabia Mountain High School


  • BEST Academy


  • Carver High School


  • Centennial High School


  • Chamblee High School


  • Clarkston High School


  • Columbia High School


  • Cross Keys High School


  • Douglass High School


  • Druid Hills High School
  • Grady High School


  • Jonesboro High School


  • Lakeside High School


  • Lithonia High School


  • Marietta High School


  • Maynard Jackson High School


  • Redan High School


  • South Atlanta High School


  • SW DeKalb High School


  • Stephenson High School


  • Stone Mountain High School


  • Therrell High School


  • Towers High School


  • Tucker High School


  • Washington High School


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.