Richland County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is once again encouraging residents to help Stuff an Ambulance for children in need.

Beginning this Monday, November 21, residents can donate toys, clothing and other items as part of the holiday tradition benefiting Richland County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

CASA is a national award-winning advocacy program that trains volunteers to help children who have entered the court and welfare systems.

“With the community’s help over the past six years, we have made Christmas Day special for every child Richland County CASA serves,” said Dante Roberts, the group’s executive director. “We greatly appreciate people’s continued support and blessings to CASA and the abused and neglected children we serve.”

Residents can support the effort by dropping off new, unwrapped donations at EMS headquarters at 1410 Laurens Street, Columbia, during normal County business hours, Monday through Friday. The headquarters is next to the surface parking lot behind the main County Administration Building. Visitors should look for the fleet of ambulances.

EMS will accept many children’s items through December 8, including:
• Toys
• Books
• Blankets
• socks and other clothing
• book bags
• hair products
• children’s eating utensils
• gift cards

EMS hopes to receive enough toys and gifts to fill as many ambulances as possible. With help from Santa Claus, the stuffed vehicles will deliver the items to CASA, where “elves” – CASA employees and volunteers – will get them ready to distribute to children in need.

“It is an honor and a privilege to host the toy drive for CASA each year,” said Capt. Winta Adams of the County’s Emergency Services Department. “It brings us great joy knowing that we play a significant role in helping children in need feel special during the holiday season.”

For more information, call 803-576-3409 or 803-576-3423.