Recipients often later become the givers through the Empty Stocking Club
top story

Recipients often later become the givers through the Empty Stocking Club

Web-only photo

Toys are piled high in boxes before being unloaded at the Empty Stocking Club Toy Depot on Dec. 16, 2014, at the Alliant Energy Center. 

Some people may wonder if it matters all that much to provide a Christmas gift for a child who would not otherwise have one.

We received a letter last week that shows how much it does.

The donation check to the Empty Stocking Club came with this note: “Donating in memory of my father, who told me that when he and his six brothers and sisters and parents moved to Madison in the mid ‘30s, they were so poor they wouldn’t have had a Christmas if it wasn’t for the Empty Stocking Club. Bless you!”

Empty Stocking Club logo

Every year at this time, we see notes like this when we open the mail. Children who have been helped in the past tend to grow into adults who remember what that was like. And many times, if they can, they want to return the favor. In this case, the next generation is honoring the child from long ago.

Since 1918, the Wisconsin State Journal and its readers have brightened the holidays for impoverished children and their families through a partnership that resonates today. Each year, readers donate money, and the State Journal buys the toys, identifies the families and sets up the distribution effort. Last year, the Empty Stocking Club served about 4,000 families, giving away 15,000 toys.

In honor of the charity’s 100th anniversary, the State Journal is hoping to raise $300,000 this year to serve even more children. We are hoping you will consider helping us reach that number. You never know what your gift will inspire.

Please consider being part of the Empty Stocking Club tradition. Today’s newspaper contains a donation envelope for your convenience. You can also contribute online at or mail your donation to:

The Empty Stocking Club

Wisconsin State Journal

Box 8056

Madison, WI 53708


Capital W: Plug in to Wisconsin politics

Subscribe to our Politics email!

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alerts

Badger Sports

Breaking News