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Volunteers needed to play Santa for SMSS

Signal Mountain Social Services is busy gathering items for the baskets the organization provides each year at Christmastime to the Signal Mountain families it serves, and the community is invited to help pack and deliver the baskets Saturday, Dec. 15.

Volunteers will meet at Nolan Elementary School at 9 a.m.

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Packing and delivering baskets at Christmastime for families served by Signal Mountain Social Services is a favorite holiday tradition for many families on the mountain. Volunteers are meeting at Nolan Elementary Saturday, Dec. 15 at 9 a.m. to pack this year’s baskets and deliver them to recipients that day.

“It’s just a way to give back to the community at a special time of year to help families in need,” said SMSS Executive Director Mary Lee Ziebold. “It’s a great way to use that holiday spirit we all have; some families come back year after year.”

All three mountain schools are holding nonperishable food drives through Dec. 15, and Signal Mountain Middle/High School is collecting hygiene items for SMSS, such as dish soap and shampoo, until Dec. 15 as well.

SMSS volunteers gather the donated gifts, food and hygiene items and set up a “store” at Nolan where volunteers pick out items to put in a family’s basket.

“The line starts forming at 8:30 [a.m.] because it’s such a popular family event,” said Ziebold.

Volunteers who want to deliver their basket to the designated family will need a large car, she said, but many volunteers choose to pack a basket and have another family deliver it.

Ziebold said volunteers are also needed after the baskets are delivered to help bring the leftover donated items back to SMSS.

“Those items help get us through the winter months,” she said.

People without children in school are encouraged to bring donations of nonperishable food and hygiene items for the Christmas baskets directly to SMSS, which Ziebold said always needs donations to help fill its food pantry.

“We have needs all year round, not just the holidays,” she said.

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