Georgetown, Del., Dec. 7, 2023: Hearts and hearths will be a little fuller this holiday season, thanks to the generosity of the community on full parade in the County seat this week.
Thousands turned out in downtown Georgetown Thursday night, Dec. 7, for the 40th annual Caroling on The Circle to celebrate the season and help those in need. This year’s Caroling on The Circle, sponsored by Sussex County government, preceded the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce’s annual Christmas parade, a first-ever pairing of the events that gave the community one festive-filled evening of music, marching units, and merriment.
Organizers at the end of evening announced that Caroling on The Circle so far has collected nearly 15,000 canned goods and other non-perishable items for local pantries, which will feed needy families in the community during the colder winter months ahead. The campaign continues through the end of December; officials hope to collect at least 20,000 items or more.
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 some 800,000 food items through the Caroling on The Circle program throughout the course of its 40-year history.
“This was a fantastic display of community and holiday spirit. We couldn’t be more pleased, and we are beyond thankful for the support from our schools, businesses, and the general public who came out,” County Administrator Todd F. Lawson said. “So many households truly will be ‘homes’ this holiday season with meals on the table thanks to the support of so many of our friends and neighbors.”
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.
This year’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 approximately 15,000 items. With several weeks still left in the drive, the County hopes to take the final total even higher by the New Year.
In 2022, the campaign collected nearly 20,000 items for local pantries.
For this year’s efforts, 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 in Georgetown. The Caroling on The Circle/Pack the Pod food drive will continue until Dec. 29.
Mr. Lawson thanked the public and those in attendance at Thursday night’s event, and acknowledged several participating groups. Those included County Council, County employees, Aloft AeroArchitects, American Portable Mini Storage, Benchmark Physical Therapy, Bethel UMC, Delaware Family Court, First State Manufactured Housing Association, Fuqua, Willard & Schab P.A., Joseph Farms, Megee Motors, Moore & Rutt P.A., Mountaire Farms, Preston Automotive Group-Boulevard Ford, Tunnell & Raysor P.A., as well as Central Elementary (Seaford), Georgetown Middle, Long Neck Elementary, and Rehoboth Elementary schools.
Items collected will be donated to approximately 20 area pantries, shelters and church organizations for distribution within Sussex County.