Santa needs helpers for toy drive
By: Tammy Francois, Lake County News Chronicle
Santa is hard at work at the North Pole putting finishing touches on toys and treats for children everywhere, but he doesn’t want others to miss the opportunity to join in the fun of giving. He’s contacted Cooperative Light and Power to ask them to organize and spread the word about a toy drive.
The annual effort began in Lake County nearly a decade ago, said Sarah Cron , marketing manager and Santa’s helper at CL&P, in an email to the News-Chronicle.
“We started this drive because we found that there were many large- scale, organized toy drives in St. Louis County, but no large scale drive existed in Lake County,” she added.
Each year since then, residents throughout the county have risen to the occasion to make the holiday brighter for families with limited resources.
“Our first year, we were thrilled to get over 100 items from the community. Last year the number of items topped 1,200,” said Cron, who is just one of the people behind the success of the drives.
“Our growth has come from the strong partnership we have developed with the Salvation Army and the support of the local businesses to help us promote the event. Of course, it comes down to the generosity of every member of our county that really makes this a success,” she said.
Last week bright red totes were delivered to businesses and organizations in the area—including the News-Chronicle office on Waterfront Drive-- so efforts can begin to top last year’s record haul. When shopping for an item or two to donate to the drive, here are a couple things to remember:
• The drive will be for new, unwrapped toys. Used toys will be donated to Neighbor to Neighbor, said Cron, or they will be discarded. Those who have gently used toys for donation are encouraged to take them to Goodwill, Savers and Salvation Army thrift stores, however it’s advisable to call these outlets to see if used toys are needed.
• “Additionally, the Salvation Army does not accept guns or war toys,” said Cron.
Donations will be collected through Dec. 10. The Salvation Army will be distributing the toys to families in Silver Bay on Dec. 14 and Two Harbors on Dec. 18.