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Many of us leave our holiday shopping to the last minute, but this year, we ask that you complete an item nearest our hearts as soon as possible: consider and make a gift to the Cheer Fund. As we enter the 91st year of this annual campaign, we're mindful that reaching our goal has become increasingly difficult.

We must reach our goal of $125,000 by Dec. 18 to ensure those needing help the most get it by Christmas.

Last year, we met our goal by a mere $686, but we were late. It was tough drive, and we were not able to send gift cards until we had enough donations to match the need. That makes it too late in many cases for families to purchase gifts for children for Christmas.

The Cheer Fund operates out of Globe Gazette's offices. It’s where applications are dropped off and where gift cards are mailed out. All the money we receive goes to those in need. And the need hasn't diminished.

That's why we do the Cheer Fund, and why we count on people in North Iowa and across the country for help.

In addition to the stories of need you'll read in our pages and online over the coming days, the notes we receive with donations are just as touching. Many come in memory of loved ones. Many are simply listed as “anonymous” – people wanting to help whomever and however they can.

We hope you can help. 

As noted, applications close Dec. 18 so cards can be distributed in time for Christmas. Give whatever you can but please consider giving soon. Drop off your donations at the Globe Gazette, 300 N. Washington Ave. in Mason City or mail them to the Christmas Cheer Fund, Box 271, Mason City, IA 50402-0271.

We guarantee that your gift, no matter the size, will help someone in North Iowa have a better, brighter Christmas – just like every Christmas since the Cheer Fund’s founding in 1927.

Keep it local, small

Small Business Saturday highlighted what we know about our North Iowa communities already: shopping local is an investment in your neighbors and your community.

We'd emphasize that the need to spend locally isn't confined to the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This is a year-round effort for all of us, but it's particularly important during the holiday season. It's when we spend the most and care the most about what we're buying. And it's when those businesses are likely counting on their best profits.

Local businesses hire more local employees. They pay more local taxes. They contribute more to your local charities. They chose North Iowa as home because they believe in it.

Do your part to spend more time and money with them. They've earned it.

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Local editorials represent the opinion of the Globe Gazette editorial board, which consists of Publisher Samuel Gett, Editor David Mayberry, News Editor Ashley Miller and Regional Editor Jim Cross. Contact the board or send letters to news@globegazette.com.

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