Service Thread in Laurinburg usually heralds in the holiday season with a Christmas party.
But employees at the industrial yarn plant decided to forgo that kind of festive shindig this year.
Workers said they found something more fulfilling than a company dinner — helping needy children.
More than 50 Service Thread employees used the money that might have gone to a party to buy toys for poor children in Scotland County.
“We did it to make sure that some of our unfortunate kids have something for Christmas,” said Service Thread employee Natasha Platt. “I can truly say it came for the heart.”
On Friday, Duke Williams of the Laurinburg Police Department came the company’s King Street office to collect the toys, that included dolls, games, bikes, stuffed animals and miniature cars and trucks. Members of the police department are expected to deliver the toys this week.
Williams said efforts like Service Thread’s will “bring a smiles to many children Christmas morning.”
“My hat is off to Service Thread. What they and companies like them are doing is awesome,” said Williams, who serves as a juvenile investigator. “Without their help, some kids might not see a toy this Christmas and that is unthinkable.”
Also on Friday morning, 36 employees with the Campbell Soup plant in Maxton made sure that 100 needy kids will have bicycles Christmas morning. The new wheels were delivered to the Christmas Cheer office in Laurinburg. Workers also dropped off 5,000 pounds of canned goods and 5,000 pounds of potatoes.
Christmas Cheer Director Eutha Tart called the gifts “a blessing.” The agency is trying to help more than 400 needy families in Scotland County.
The Campbell Soup workers donated an additional 100 bikes, canned goods and potatoes to the Robeson County Church and Community Center in Lumberton.
“We just feel so blessed with what we have that we just want to help as a group,” said Jerry Feeney, manager of the Campbell’s Maxton plant. “We want to help our neighbors get by this Christmas and all year round. It’s a pleasure for us to do this.”
Williams said he hopes other businesses and individuals will give as well.
“I will do everything in my power to rally what little bit we do have to bring joy those kids who are less fortunate,” Williams said. “Everybody can do their part whether it be a nickel or a dime or dollar. We are all in this together as a community. That is how were going to get our economy healthy again — together.”
For information about donating to Christmas Cheer or sponsoring a family, call the Christmas Cheer office at 277-0026. The office, located in the Church Community Services building on Gill Street, is open from 8:30 a.m. until noon Mondays through Fridays.
The Scotland County Department of Social Services is also accepting donations of new toys and clothing for children and youth in foster care.
To participate in Toys for Tots, you may visit a number of local drop off points including Walmart, Big Lots, Alltel Wireless, PHS Staffing on Lauchwood Drive, Electrical Equipment Company, and St. Andrews University. In Maxton, toys can be dropped off at Walgreens and Umicore. That program serves children and youth up to age 21, including older teenagers with disabilities.
For a complete list of drop off locations in Scotland, Hoke, and Robeson counties, visit maxton-nc.toysfortots.org. Toys for Tots will accept donations until Dec. 22.