Gift drive spreading joy to local children

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Looking to spread some joy this holiday season? You can assist local Gulf Coast children that have suffered the pain of abuse, neglect, domestic violence, and exploitation.

Canopy Children’s Solutions South Mississippi Child Advocacy Center serves these children and their families and need your help to spread cheer this year with their annual gift drive.

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They’re collecting toys, gift cards, clothes, and hygiene products for children between the ages of three and 17.

The 13-17 year age group often gets overlooked so they are encouraging gifts that would interest kids within that age range.

They’re hoping to provide gifts for 75 kids receiving services in the center and offer support to another 50 families who are being served by Canopy’s community programs. Canopy Child Advocacy Center MDT Coordinator Cassidy Redding said, “I really like that this toy drive services the children that are serviced here. This isn’t a drop in a bucket and it gets dispersed all over the place. This toy drive services victims that have been served here on the Gulf Coast.”

The deadline to participate is December 14th.  You can drop off the items at the Harrison County SMCAC office in Gulfport or at the Jackson County SMCAC Office in Pascagoula. You can also check out their Facebook page for their Amazon registry.

The SMCAC is also undergoing renovations in their Harrison County facility. Canopy Child Advocacy Center MDT Coordinator Lisa Zimmerman said, “We are currently in the Harrison County office building. We’re looking to add another forensic interview room and another waiting room. We’re looking to add another play therapist and we’re looking to add another play therapy room as well.”

Canopy Children’s Solutions South Mississippi Child Advocacy Center has served over 1,500 children since January and they’re hoping with that expansion they can double the number of children they serve.

They also accept donations for stuffed animals all year long as they hand them out to the children post-meetings.