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Stuff-a-Bus wraps with donations growing beyond expectations for kids in need

The Salvation Army concluded their donations this season from the Stuff-a-Bus campaign leading to more gifts than anticipated for kids this season

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Over 50 volunteers gathered to unload buses full of toys and bikes from the Stuff-a-Bus campaign on Saturday morning, turning the warehouse into Santa's workshop to make sure all kids in the Midlands have gifts. 

The Salvation Army of the Midlands has around 1,200 families and over 2,000 kids to grant gifts to this holiday season, said Leanne Craddock, core officer administrator for the organization.

"It's an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and just humbleness, it definitely humbles you seeing everyone who wants to give," volunteer Kymberlee Byrd said. 

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Craddock said Saturday that she likens the big day with the feeling of checking Santa's list twice, making sure every child and family has their gifts assembled and ready to go. Craddock added that this is crunch time and families will begin picking up their gifts on Monday.

And those year's gifts blew past expectations Craddock said, adding that they were anticipating two or three buses but ended up with three buses full of toys - and, then, an additional busload of just bikes. 

She said those are gifts all kids want in the holiday season so the sheer number of bikes donated can reach almost every kid who asked for one. 

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Thanks to the number of donations, she adds, Lexington Medical Community takes 500 stockings to help donate to kids. Therefore, kids this season will not only walk away with the gift purchased for them but a stocking as well. 

The bags are almost fully prepared for pickup starting on Monday. Craddock thanked everyone in the community for the outpouring of donations and support. Because it's these acts of kindness that will make sure many kids in the Midlands have a great holiday season. 

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