Readers of the Aiken Standard donated a record $6,498 to this year's Community Christmas Card, a fund that benefits public school students throughout Aiken County.
Rhonda Overbey, publisher of the Aiken Standard and the North Augusta Star, presented the check to Aiken County Public School District Superintendent King Laurence at Tuesday's school board meeting.
"These donations allow school employees who see the needs of our students on a daily basis to meet those needs," Laurence said.
Over the last four years, thousands of donors have contributed a total of $19,856 to the fund. A total of 100% of the proceeds go toward helping students.
Overbey shared an experience from her own childhood that inspired her to start the fund at the Aiken Standard. As an elementary student, Overbey had trouble seeing the chalkboard from the back of the classroom. Her teacher noticed Overbey's vision troubles and gave her a free pair of glasses.
"I think that our teachers are in unique positions where they see needs that we may not see," Overbey said. "And if we can give them access to a fund like this, where they could give a child a coat, or a pair of gloves – take their mind off those basic needs that are not being met, refocus them on education – I think it could change lives."