More than 500 carolers gathered in downtown Georgetown for the 35th annual Caroling on The Circle event Monday night, Dec. 3, to sing in the Christmas season, but more importantly, they came together to collect more than 24,000 canned goods and other non-perishable items for local pantries that will put food on the table for the less fortunate in the weeks and months ahead.
Each year, Caroling on The Circle kicks off the holiday season for Sussex County, while serving as a community food drive to benefit local food banks. Started in 1984 as part of the Delaware First initiative, Caroling on The Circle continues to help those in need a generation later. To date, the community has donated more than 725,000 food items through the Caroling on The Circle program throughout the course of its 35-year history.
“Time and time again, Sussex County comes through when it really counts,” County Administrator Todd F. Lawson said. “I am proud of what Caroling on The Circle has accomplished this year, and in the past three decades. I’m especially proud of how our business community, schools, organizations, County employees and the general public always work together to help so many of our fellow neighbors. That’s what the season of giving is all about.”
As part of the Caroling event, Sussex County once again called on the public to ‘Pack the POD’ by setting up a 14-foot-by-7-foot storage trailer on The Circle. The unit served as a focal point for Caroling and to heighten awareness about the food drive.
Monday night’s Caroling event, along with collections from Sussex County Council, County employees, numerous schools, groups and businesses leading up to the event, helped this year’s preliminary total to reach 24,556 items. With several weeks still left in the drive, the County hopes to take the final total even higher by the New Year.
The public can continue to drop off canned goods and non-perishable food items between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the County Administrative Offices building on The Circle or the West Complex offices on U.S. 113, both in Georgetown. The Caroling on The Circle food drive will continue until Dec. 31.
Mr. Lawson thanked the public and those in attendance at Monday night’s event, and acknowledged several participating groups. Those included County Council, County employees, ALOFT Aero-Architects, Steve Class/Colonial East, First State Manufactured Housing Association, Flex World Fitness, Fuqua, Willard, Stevens & Schab law firm, Sussex County Association of REALTORS®, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati law firm, Georgetown Elementary, Millsboro Middle, Milton Elementary, and Sussex Central High schools.
Items collected will be donated to approximately 15 area pantries, shelters and church organizations for distribution within Sussex County.