Volunteers spread holiday cheer through toy drive

Published 11:13 am Tuesday, November 28, 2023

In the spirit of the season, volunteers from the lady’s service organization Epsilon Sigma Alpha (ESA), the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department and local churches are rallying the community to bring Christmas joy to neighborhoods facing economic challenges.

Kathy Smith, ESA director, said she hopes that the toy drive will become an annual event, delivering a bit of Christmas magic to children in Selma.

“This is our first year doing something like this,” Smith said. “It’s going to be such a blessing. We just want to show love and kindness to our community.”

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Event organizers are urging those who can to contribute by purchasing a toy or game for children aged 2-13. The gifts should be wrapped and clearly labeled with the intended age group and gender. Gifts may be dropped off at One Way BookStore, located at 2185 Broad Street in Selma. 

Sheriff Mike Granthum noted that his department collaborates with ESA on multiple projects throughout the year in addition to their own community services and hopes that the community will pull together for Valley Creek children, adding that donations can also be dropped off at the Sheriff’s department. 

“We usually adopt two families and make sure they have a good Christmas,” Granthum said. “Now we get to take that even further. Money’s tight this year and we need all the help we can get.”

Smith said that she hopes members of the community will recognize the work done by local law enforcement and stresses that many of the projects she’s involved in wouldn’t be possible without their help. Recently, the groups teamed up to deliver Thanksgiving meals to those in need.

“We work as a team, all of us together, especially the Sheriff’s department and the city police,” Smith said. “They really are servants in the community. They love these people.”

As the holiday season approaches, the collective efforts of these compassionate volunteers aim to bring warmth and joy to those who need it most and that, according to Sheriff Granthum, is its own reward.

“It blesses you more than it blesses them,” Granthum said. “It’s just amazing.”

The collected gifts will be distributed by volunteers from the Sheriff’s Department to children at the Jerusalem Vision Christmas party on Dec. 17. The festivities, set to commence at 1:30 p.m. at Valley Creek Apartments, promise a heartwarming experience for all attendees. From the Christmas story and caroling to snacks, drinks and a special appearance by Santa at 2 p.m., the event aims to spread joy and create lasting memories.