Tri-Development Center of Aiken County’s Operation Christmas is back with a bigger location to fill with gifts.
Operation TDC Christmas was previously located in the mall, but recently moved to a larger space in downtown Aiken. The new location will give volunteers more space to wrap and store gifts.
“Operation TDC Christmas is the program we use to provide Christmas to our population of people who, without this, would get little to nothing for Christmas because a lot of community programs and events are geared towards kids and families," said Terrence Jackson, director of safety, prevention and volunteer services for the Tri-Development Center. "Individuals with special needs sometimes are maybe forgotten about during the holiday times.”
Jackson said the program provides a Christmas for almost 200 people.
“We process about 1,000 gifts year in and year out, so each person gets about five gifts or so from their Christmas list,” Jackson said.
The Operation TDC Christmas space is now located at 106 Park Ave., and offers gift-wrapping services, takes orders for baked goods and accepts donations. Operation TDC Christmas is also looking for volunteers to help wrap gifts for the individuals they sponsor with special needs and disabilities.
Volunteers from USC Aiken’s softball team were wrapping gifts Monday afternoon.
“We try our best to do community service throughout the year," said USCA softball head coach Jaclin Poole. "The Aiken Tri-Development Center is a great program, so we wanted to come out and help them get some of this wrapping done.”
Poole said her team volunteers throughout the school year with different organizations, but Tri-Development Center is special.
“This one is pretty close to my heart. I have special needs members in my family, so being able to give back to that specific group really means a lot to me and the girls as well,” Poole said.
Operation TDC Christmas is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and will be in its downtown location through Dec. 20.
Jackson said he is thankful for Chase and Roslyn Ingram for donating the space free of charge temporarily.