For the fifth straight holiday season, Richland County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) challenges residents to help the division Stuff an Ambulance with toys, clothing and other items for children.

The annual toy drive benefits Richland County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), a national award-winning advocacy program that trains volunteers to advocate for children who have entered the court and welfare systems.

“We teach lessons of what it is to be thankful and how important it is to give,” said Dante Roberts, executive director of CASA. “Unfortunately, some children are not afforded the same opportunities. With residents’ help over the years, we have made Christmas Day special for every child that CASA serves.”

From November 29 through December 10, 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, 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 ambulances will deliver the toys to CASA where “elves” – CASA employees and volunteers – will get them ready to distribute to children in need.

“We are very excited to host the Stuff an Ambulance toy drive for the fifth year in a row,” said EMS Capt. Winta Adams. “We continue to find joy contributing to such a great cause while spreading happiness and cheer.”

For more information about Stuff an Ambulance, call 803-576-3409 or 803-576-3423.