INDIAN LAKE - Since 1986, Stewart's customers, along with matching contributions from Stewart's, have raised $12 million benefiting thousands of local children's organizations.
This year's annual Holiday Match program began on Thanksgiving Day and runs through Christmas Day. During that time, Stewart's Shops will match individual donations made in the 327 Stewart's Shops.
All the money raised will go to charity - no administrative costs will be deducted, according to Stewart's officials.
In 2008, the Holiday Match total was $1.1 million according to Stewart's Foundation President Susan Law Dake.
"Every year I am awed by the generosity of our customers," she said. "We are expecting another year with well over 1000 applications for grants because of the tight economy - The good news is I believe our customers will rise to the challenge."
The purpose of Holiday Match is to encourage individual giving and broaden the base of support for local charities, Dake said. Stewart's Holiday Match is a non-profit foundation and all donations are tax-deductible. Stewart's gladly accepts funds from groups or businesses, but only matches individual donations.
Local organizations benefiting children can pick up an application throughout the holidays at any Stewart's Shop; the deadline for submission is January 31.