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The holiday shopping season is running at full tilt, with everything that implies: tired feet, long lines and chock-full parking lots.

For 97 years, many Wisconsin State Journal readers have added the Empty Stocking Club to their Christmas lists.

The newspaper and its readers have partnered each year since 1918 to make sure that every needy child has at least one nice present to open at Christmas.

Readers donate so we can stock a Toy Depot, where parents come to pick out just the right toy for each child.

In return, we always run the names of every donor in the newspaper, no matter how big or small the donation.

“Who are members of the Empty Stocking Club?” this newspaper asked in a story about the annual fund drive on Nov. 27, 1960.

“Every man, woman, teenager and young child who contributes so much as a penny to the cause automatically becomes a member in good standing.”

Last year, the Empty Stocking Club served 4,953 families with 12,387 children, thanks to the generosity of our readers.

It’s a number that typically increases every year.

If you’d like to be a part of this treasured holiday tradition, today’s newspaper contains a donation envelope for your convenience.

You can also contribute online at

Or mail a check to:

Empty Stocking Club, Wisconsin State Journal, P.O. Box 8056, Madison, WI 53708.

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Empty Stocking Club gifts top $7,000. B2