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FULTON, Mo. -- For the past several years, Callaway County Casey's General Stores have set out jars to collect patron's spare change for SERVE Inc.'s Toys for Kids program, but for this year, the businesses have decided to do a little more to help SERVE meet the increasing demands on its resources, The Fulton Sun reported.
"Every year we try to do something for Christmas, but this year we wanted to step it up a little," Casey's area supervisor Gary Anthony told the paper. "With the economy the way it is, we figured SERVE will probably be overwhelmed this year. We do so much with national fundraisers like St. Jude's, this is just something we want to try to do locally."
In addition to the donation jars, on Fridays during the month of November, $3 of every large pizza sold at a Callaway Casey's will go to SERVE's food pantry, the report stated.
Additionally, toward the end of November, Anthony said the businesses will hold a full-service day, pumping gas for tips that also will go to SERVE.
"In December we're going to try to get ornaments and trees at all the stores, and if customers donate 50 cents to SERVE, they'll get their name on an ornament to go on the tree," Anthony said.
Fundraising efforts could not have come at a better time, according to Lisa Brown, executive director at SERVE. In a trend that first started with a record 2,436 people in July, the service organization has continued to see a rise in need—culminating in another record-breaking month in October, during which SERVE helped 2,503 people, the report stated.
"Unless we see an immediate turn-around in the economy, we expect to continue serving record numbers of Callaway County residents facing food insecurity, at least during the near future," Brown said in a press release.
For their part, Anthony said the local Casey's stores intend to do their best to help ensure those volunteers have plenty to do.
"We want each store to hit $500, but of course we'd like to exceed that," he said. "SERVE has done a lot of things for this community, and we want to help."