The Saline County Holiday Project seems to be approaching quickly, as organizers tap into their holiday spirit for next week's event.
"We seem to be right on track" with donations this year, said Suzanne Smith.
Smith represents the Y on the Inter-Agency Council, which has hosted the event for more than 20 years. Now, other volunteers and organizations such as the Marshall Public Schools Transportation Department are pitching in to help.
"Overall, things are coming together really nicely," she said.
This coming Saturday, the transportation department will host its "Stuff the Bus" campaign, not to benefit Marshall schools, but children throughout the county.
Organizers want to overload a bus with non-perishable food items, toys and paper products that will go toward the holiday project, which served more than 1,300 people last year.
The project allows pre-approved families to "Christmas shop" at Martin Community Center, where volunteers will fill the space with thousands of items for all ages. Those who applied to be recipients will be receiving letters later this week, indicating their scheduled shop time.
"If you would like to donate, take new toys to John Rector Motors," Smith added. "Tower Realty and the Y are both accepting (gently used) toys, canned goods, sugar, flour and paper goods."
Monetary donations can also be taken to Tower Realty, or donations can be dropped off before 3 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5, at the community center as volunteers set up. According to Smith, organizers are always in need of items for teenagers, but they're also still in need of children's bikes that need minimal repair, such as needing a new chain or handle bar grips. The actual event is slated for Thursday, Dec. 6.
In 2011, the project served twice the amount of children than that of 2010.
The "Stuff the Bus" campaign will run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at Walmart and Patricia's Foods.
Contact Sarah Reed at