Richland County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) again is responding to the call to help disadvantaged children during the holiday season and is seeking help from the community to “Stuff an Ambulance” with unwrapped toys, blankets, book bags and more.
This year, the division of the County’s Emergency Services Department is holding its third annual toy drive. This year’s effort will benefit the Richland County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). The national award winning County advocacy program trains volunteers to help children who have entered the court and welfare systems.
“The toy drive allows employees and citizens to pass on Holiday spirit and joy to the children in our community who are less fortunate,” said EMS Captain Winta Adams.
The success of last year’s toy drive resulted in four ambulances being filled with toys and other essential items for children. As the EMS employees team up with fellow County employees at CASA, the goal is to gather enough toys and gifts to stuff the ambulance bus and two regular ambulances.
“Children are filled with holiday cheer and love when they open their gifts at Christmas time. That is not the case for children who are in foster care who are away from their families during the holidays and do not have gifts under the tree. There is no better gift than the gift of giving and without a doubt Richland County EMS does just that,” said Dante Roberts, Executive Director of RC CASA.
To take part in the toy drive, residents may drop off donations during normal County business hours through Monday, Dec. 9 at Richland County EMS headquarters, 1410 Laurens St. The headquarters is located next to the surface parking lot behind the main County Administration Building. Look for the fleet of ambulances.
The stuffed ambulances, along with Santa Claus, will deliver the toys to CASA where elves – also known as CASA employees and volunteers – will get them ready to distribute to children in need.
For more information about Stuff an Ambulance, call 803-576-3409 or 803-576-3423.