Looking for a Christmas gift that will keep giving even after the holiday season ends?

The Aiken Standard once again is sponsoring its Community Christmas Card to help students in the Aiken County Public School District not only during the holidays but all year long. All donations – 100% of the proceeds – will be divided among the schools to help students who can't afford or need help with eyeglasses, new shoes, school supplies or services.

For a $1 donation, the Aiken Standard will publish the contributor’s name in the Christmas Day issue of the newspaper in its third Community Christmas Card. Last year, readers contributed $5,150.

The deadline to contribute is Dec. 13.

"Over the last two years, hundreds of Aiken Standard readers and area businesses have donated more than $7,000 to support this fund. Entering the third year, we don't know the depth of the need in our schools but we have a real measure of the generosity of our readers," said Rhonda Overbey, publisher of the Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star.

"Once we presented this idea in the Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star, our readers' response was immediate and humbling. The Community Christmas Card is an ongoing example of how something as small as $1 can create a ripple and help one child. When our readers come together financially to support this act of kindness, the impact grows exponentially."

All contributions will be set up in an easily accessed fund and used at the discretion of the Aiken County Public Schools' counselors to help their students meet immediate needs.

The Community Christmas Card donations will be there for counselors to use when they see an opportunity to improve a child’s chances of getting the education they deserve. Counselors know when basic needs are met, students learn better.

Readers can make a contribution for themselves, to honor another person or in memory of a family member or friend. Businesses and organizations can participate, too, making contributions in the names of their employees or members.

To give, please legibly write the names to sign on the Community Christmas Card along with at least $1 per name and mail to the Aiken Standard at 326 Rutland Drive, Aiken, SC 29801 by Dec. 13 to be included in the Christmas Day edition of the newspaper.

To put the donation on your credit or debit card, call the Aiken Standard between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday at 803-648-2311.

To make a contribution online, visit

Online contributors will be able to include their names and list the names of their honorees in the comments section on the donation payment site.

The Aiken Standard's Community Christmas Card is an inexpensive way for the whole family, area residents and local businesses to give a gift that will keep giving after the holidays.

Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.