It’s that time of year again and – pandemic or no pandemic – the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department is doing its part to create a Christmas atmosphere in the county – and, as is in keeping with the main theme of the season, providing help to those in need.

The department kicked things off on Tuesday, Dec. 8 in the parking lot of the department’s headquarters at 400 W. Washington St. in downtown Greensboro, where deputies and other department staff loaded a bus with toys for kids that otherwise might not get anything for Christmas. The department had challenged Guilford County citizens to help “Fill The Bus,” and many citizens answered that call.

On Friday, Dec. 11 at 4 p.m. – also at the department’s headquarters – the Sheriff’s Department will hold its “9th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony.” On a sad note, this year, due to COVID-19, this event won’t be open to the public.

Every year at the ceremony, the department honors the lives lost in Guilford County from traffic accidents, domestic violence and addiction issues. At the tree lighting, the department will remember all those who died by illuminating lights that will continue shining throughout the season.

In a related Christmastime effort to help out, the Guilford County Reentry Program – which helps former jail and prison inmates get on a good path when released – will be hosting a food drive to help feed local families and individuals in need. The food boxes, which will be distributed until they’re gone, can feed a family of three for about a week.

The Guilford County Reentry Program Food Giveaway will be held on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 11 a.m. at 211 S. Centennial Street in High Point.