Toys For Kids And Angel Tree Programs Distribute Toys To Over 1,000 Area Children
The community has been gathering and donating toys since October for Toys For Kids and the Angel Trees programs. Yesterday, the toys were distributed to families just in time for Christmas.
This is the 37th year that Toys For Kids has been providing Christmas gifts for families in Crow Wing County. The program is put on by the Heartland Detachment of the Marine Corps League in conjunction with the Salvation Army. Toys were collected at over 50 locations around the area.
“We do an intake at the end of October and get information on families that might need help for Christmas. We put tags out on trees in the community. Members of the community adopt those tags and then bring back gifts, and we kind of put everything together, make sure that everybody has something, go do a little shopping, and put together a distribution event,” said Carole Paschelke, Brainerd Salvation Army Family Services Director.
Over 1,100 children in the community will receive Christmas gifts through the Toys For Kids and Angel Tree programs this year. The packages also come equipped with a Salvation Army food card for the families to use towards a holiday meal. The program is an important tradition and helps families lessen their financial stress around the holidays.
“There are people that have come to me and said that without this, they literally would have nothing for Christmas. We see probably 500 families a month in the food shelf. I serve many people through our prescription assistance program, heat share program, rental assistance, and a lot of these families are really struggling to meet their bills and I encourage them, trust me, we can get you a great Christmas for your kids,” added Paschelke. “Go ahead and use that money for bills.”
Approximately 100 business in the Brainerd Lakes Area support the programs through collection of toys and financial donations leading up to the holidays.