Santa, Richland County EMS deliver toys to benefit Richland County CASA

December 7, 2023

Community donations will go to children in need ahead of holidays

One of the area’s happiest holiday traditions continued Wednesday, as Richland County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff delivered toys, clothing and other items donated to benefit Richland County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).

Photo: Richland County EMS Capt. Winta Adams, left, and EMS Senior Paramedic Sgt. Stacy Earp help fill an ambulance with donated toys Wednesday as part of the “Stuff an Ambulance” donation drive.

For the past seven years, EMS has challenged the community to “Stuff an Ambulance” full of donated items for CASA, the County’s national award-winning advocacy program that trains volunteers to help children who have entered the court and welfare systems.

Santa Claus and elves – employees with Richland County EMS and Richland County Court Appointed Special Advocates – helped unload several ambulances full of toys and other items for children Wednesday as part of EMS’ “Stuff an Ambulance” donation drive.

On Wednesday, Santa Claus led a fleet of four ambulances from EMS Headquarters downtown to CASA, where “elves” – CASA employees and volunteers – unpacked the items and began getting them ready to distribute to children in need next week, just in time for the holidays.

“Richland County EMS donations benefit RC CASA and the community in ways that are not spoken about when they adopt our agency and support the future,” said Dante Roberts, CASA’s executive director. “Children who, at times, are in survival mode get little pieces of joy, and that’s because of community partners like EMS.”

Community donations to Richland County EMS’ “Stuff an Ambulance” donation drive included a number of children’s bicycles, among hundreds of other items.

Residents donated between 1,200 and 1,300 items for this year’s donation drive. Along with toys and clothing, the items included books, blankets, bookbags, bicycles, musical instruments, and athletic equipment.

For more information on “Stuff an Ambulance,” call 803-576-3409.