The eighth annual Operation Spread the Joy campaign is once again collecting items to distribute Christmas Eve morning to downtown Columbia’s homeless. Joy volunteers are available now through December 21, at drop-off locations to accept contributions: Debi & Co. Salon, 2401-B Dutch Fork Road in Chapin; the Law Offices of Bothwell Graham, 6326 St. Andrews Road in St. Andrews; Unity Karate Academy, 7949 Broad River Road in Irmo, Salon Bella, 4711 Forest Drive, Unit 17 in Columbia; and on the University of South Carolina campus in the Discovery Building, 915 Greene Street, Office 421 (fourth floor). Contributions can also be mailed to the Debi & Co. Salon address listed above.

The project was first envisioned several years ago by Irmo hairdresser and mother Heather Malovic, who began the operation from her own home. Driven by a desire to share the holiday spirit with individuals in need, Heather asked colleagues, friends and family members for donations of blankets, ponchos, scarves, and other necessities, which she and her children then personally handed out as Christmas gifts to homeless men and women living in the Capital City.
Malovic said the donations the campaign receives every December has been incredible.

“Each year more and more homeless men and women are blessed by of the donations our community selflessly gives to Operation Spread the Joy,” she said. “We all come away learning so much and understanding the true meaning of Christmas!”

Malovic plans to use Facebook Live to ensure donors have the opportunity to share the experience from home as the volunteers pass out the donated items.

“For the past two years, we’ve broadcast live Christmas Eve morning as we passed out the gifts, and this year we’ll do it again! The live video will be available on our event page.”

Volunteers will distribute the gifts in front of both Hope Plaza and the Christ Central Ministries building on Main Street December 24. Their goal is to collect enough items to fill 150 reusable grocery-sized bags.

This year, the project’s focus is on collecting items to keep the homeless community warm and dry.

They are in need of:
Fleece blankets Gloves Scarves
Socks (mens athletic) Ponchos Knit hats (adult)
Umbrellas Reusable grocery bags

Monetary donations and gift cards are appreciated. For more information, contact Heather Malovic at 803-414-2115 or [email protected], or visit the Operation Spread the Joy Facebook event website:

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