The Salvation Army in Sumter seeks fundraiser and volunteers for toy drive

December is the month of joy and joy, but it is also the busiest time of the year for the Salvation Army.

From the Red Kettle fundraiser to their Christmas relief program, the Salvation Army team at Sumter remains busy helping those in need during the holiday season and throughout the year.

“This year, the Salvation Army nationwide theme for our Christmas effort is ‘Hope Walks,’ said Lt. Lara Sassano, Salvation Army officer in Sumter. “It has been a difficult year for many, and we are all tired – yet the hope of Christmas lives on in the generosity of our community partners and friends.”

In early November, The Salvation Army began preparing for its busiest time of year by launching its Red Kettle campaign, planting trees throughout the community and more.

According to Sassano, the kettle fundraiser began on November 8 and will run until December 24. The money raised through this campaign helps support the organization’s Christmas efforts and maintain its aid programs throughout the year.

Sassano was proud to share that more Red Kettle locations have been added this season, so volunteer ringers can help out individually, as families or groups of any size to help for at least two hours.

To schedule a time slot at any of the Red Kettle Campaign locations, call (803) 775-9336. Businesses can also sponsor a location for a day or match money.

In addition to the Red Kettle campaign, The Salvation Army has started installing angel trees as part of the organization’s Christmas relief program during Thanksgiving week.

The Christmas Assistance Program is a way for The Salvation Army to ensure underserved children have a happy holiday season through donation of toys, bicycles and other gifts. The Angel Trees help this program by hanging labels with children’s names and Christmas wishes on them. These tags can then be removed by a donor who gives the gift to that child.

Sassano said applications and interviews for Angel Tree and older adult applicants were conducted in October. Registrations are now closed, except in an emergency.

Angel Trees with hanging tags have been scattered throughout the community and can be found in the Continental Tire Dining Room and in the WalMart Supercenter customer service area.

Toy and food drives have also been scheduled or organized throughout the community as part of the program.

According to Sassano, Becton Dickinson will organize a food and toy drive, Eaton adopted 30 children from Angel Trees and will participate in a “Stuff A Bus” toy drive, Sumter High School student government will hold a toy drive and collection fund, local law enforcement will host ‘Stuff a Cruiser’ toy drives, Thomas Sumter Academy fourth grade classes have adopted 42 Angel Tree Children, United Way to host pajama drive and more .

Sassano said they will need volunteers to help out at the Salvation Army’s Christmas warehouse to sort and pack the bags, prepare the food bags and help with distribution towards the end of the month.

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