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Newton sheriff, Salvation Army will partner in Christmas gift-giving

COVINGTON -- Christmas will be here before you know it and the Newton County Sheriff's Office and the Salvation Army are joining forces to beat the holiday rush.

This year, the NCSO will pool its Christmas-giving resources with the Salvation Army in an effort to maximize resources.

"Deputies have been collecting toys and money at Christmas for years," said Cpl. Wade Freeman who manages the Deputies Who Care program for NCSO. "They use the money to buy more toys and give them to families in need. The past few years, the need has grown and so has the amount of time and manpower needed to meet the needs."

Last year the NCSO distributed gifts to more than 400 children and Freeman said in an effort to be more efficient, he researched how others handled the large-scale collection of goods and distribution to those in need.

"After managing the program for the sheriff last year, I realized that with the amount of people asking for help, we had to streamline the process and set some new guidelines in place," he said. "While speaking with several groups and businesses to see how it was being done elsewhere, I realized there really wasn't any need to recreate the wheel."

Freeman said he asked Sheriff Ezell Brown what he thought about a partnership with the Salvation Army.

"The Salvation Army already had an excellent system in place and a partnership between the two was a great fit," he said, adding that the sheriff agreed.

This year all applications for assistance will be taken at the Salvation Army office at 5193 Washington St. They will be accepted on Nov. 6 through Nov. 8 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Anyone who cannot apply during these times due to a work conflict, should contact Chrissy Busbee at 770-786-2107.