NEWBERRY — This Christmas, the Newberry Moose Lodge donated bags of toys to Operation Santa Claus through the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office.
More than 170 men and women in the Moose Lodge came together and collected toys for children who wouldn’t otherwise receive presents. On Sunday, deputies Sherri Scott and Ron Abrams from the sheriff’s office collected the toys to start distributing Dec. 16.
Scott said that they received names of kids who were pre-registered for the project.
“The kids will come to the (Career Center) to a room and come in and pick out toys,” said Scott.
The sheriff’s office has also received gifts and donations from other industries, businesses and individuals but she said the Moose Lodge and the Exchange Club have been their biggest supporters.
“We thank God for a city with people like these who care like they do,” said Scott.
This was the first year the Moose Lodge donated toys to the sheriff’s office as they try to mix up who they help and assist throughout the year.
They have recently donated dog food to the animal shelter and the ladies of the Moose provided gifts and necessities to Sistercare.
Other charities they support are the Boy Scouts, Special Olympics, Interfaith group for Newberry County and different youth sports around town. They also visit the elderly.
The Moose Lodge also helps out with the Moose Heart and Moose Haven which are homes for children and teens at risk and senior citizens respectively. The children’s lodge is in Chicago, Ill. and the elderly home is in Florida.
“The Moose organization is all for the community,” said Frank Monroe, junior administrator with the Newberry Moose Lodge.
On a local level, the Newberry Moose gives out Tommy Moose, a stuffed animal, to law enforcement around town to give to children in trauma situations.
“When kids are distressed, they give a Tommy Moose stuffed animal,” said Roger Hair, administrator for the Newberry Moose.
The lodge also has a youth awareness program in which youth have a chance to win scholarships.
“I recruit kids from the area to go out and talk to youth about drugs, etc.,” said Monroe who gets recommendations from guidance counselors and teachers at the school.