Area toy drive in 20th year, donations sought through Dec. 14

St. Michael Fire Department Explorer Program students support Caring for Kids: Your Local Toy Drive by delivering donation drop boxes to area businesses. Left to right are Mallory Gutknecht, Katelyn Anderson, Mitchell Anderson, Joe Libor, Wade Gammell and Taylor Dickey. donations of new toys for children ages birth to 18, new books, new hats and mittens and financial contributions are being accepted now through Dec. 14.

St. Michael Fire Department Explorer Program students support Caring for Kids: Your Local Toy Drive by delivering donation drop boxes to area businesses. Left to right are Mallory Gutknecht, Katelyn Anderson, Mitchell Anderson, Joe Libor, Wade Gammell and Taylor Dickey. donations of new toys for children ages birth to 18, new books, new hats and mittens and financial contributions are being accepted now through Dec. 14.

It’s that time of year again for a season where many wonder how they can serve the community.

In 1980 a small group of church members of St. Paul’s Lutheran, Hanover were informed that a few of their fellow parishioners were struggling to put food on the table for their families. So they decided to collect food within the church and stored it in the church’s kitchen designating the shelf as the “Food Shelf.”

Eventually word of the “Food Shelf” expanded to serving members outside of the church and families came to the food shelf from all around the community. It didn’t take long for the project to become its own non-profit — the Hanover Area Food Shelf — becoming one of the first food shelves in Minnesota that now serves hundreds of people each month.

About 10 years after its initiation, the food shelf saw another need. The holidays were an added pressure for families that were already struggling; so in the early 1990’s Caring for Kids:  Your Local Toy Drive began.

Today, more than 20 years later the program serves nearly 500 children in our community each holiday season with new toys, hats and mittens and a holiday meal.

None of this generosity is possible without the donations of community members. How you can help: donations of new toys for children ages birth to 18, new books, new hats and mittens and financial contributions are being accepted now through Dec. 14.

Locations in Albertville include Andy’s Pizza, Coborn’s, Country Inn & Suites, HealthSource Chiropractic, Lake Community Bank, Perkins and Premier Bank.

Locations in St. Michael include Allina Medical Clinic, Central Bank, Dairy Queen, Great northern Bank, Hardware Hank, Hawkinson Co, Jet Edge Inc., Marketplace, Preferred Choice Chiropractic, St. Michael City Hall, Subway, Verizon Wireless and Walgreen’s.

Hanover location is St. Paul’s Lutheran church.

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