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The Villages

Donations of Christmas decorations sought to benefit struggling families

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office has the perfect solution for those who are never going to use all of the Christmas decorations they brought with them from up north.

Area residents can donate them to the sheriff’s office. The donated items, which can be anything from trees to nativity scenes, will be transported to the Sumter County Fairgrounds, where a volunteer organization sorts the items and sets them up like they would be displayed in a store. Families are then invited to shop at the “store” and select items free of charge.

The sheriff’s office’s community outreach program coordinator, Theresa Cooper, decided it could be of service as a donation point. Last year, the sheriff’s office transported nine big utility trailer loads of trees and decorations.

Cooper said it’s all possible because of the generosity of Villagers and noted that, although she says it often, she can’t say it enough: All of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office’s holiday outreach community programs would not be possible without the support financially and donations of area residents.

New items also are welcomed. Trees, ornaments, lights, indoor and outdoor decorations all are needed. Anything that will give a home the feeling of Christmas will be much appreciated by a family that although is making a living, just doesn’t have enough money for the extras during the holidays.

Donations will be accepted from Nov. 23 through Dec. 9. They can be dropped off at the Sumter County Sheriff’s Villages Annex, 8033 E. County Road 466, near the corner of Morse Boulevard. Call (352) 689-4600 for more information. Donations will be accepted during business hours only, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

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