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Toys for Tots delivers gifts

Some 1,100 children will get gifts this season thanks to the volunteers at Toys for Tots. The organization averages about 500 families a year, with each child getting three gifts and four stocking stuffers. Photo courtesy of Toys for Tots1 / 2
Toys for Tots collects donations throughout the year, but many of them come just before Christmas. Photo courtesy of Toys for Tots2 / 2

Toys for Tots was able to deliver gifts to 1,100 kids in Goodhue County and western Wisconsin this year.

Tom Gade and Marc Gerken of the organization said they usually average about 500 families, giving three gifts and four stocking stuffers to each child.

Gade and Gerken have been busy collecting, packaging and distributing toys so children can have a happy holiday season. The organization collects toys year round, but gets them organized from October and ends sometime in January.

"It doesn't matter how many hours we do, it's all for the kids," Gade said.

Gerken said the 60 businesses around the community were incredibly "generous" with keeping Toys for Tots donation boxes on their site.

The group was in the St. Joseph's Church building this year, but will be looking for a new location next year. Gade and Gerken say they thank the church, Red Wing Shoe and Elks Club for their years of support since starting in 1983.

Matthew Lambert

Matthew Lambert joined the Red Wing Republican Eagle in March 2018 covering school board, public safety, and writing features. Lambert previously wrote for the Pierce County Herald and River Falls Journal. He is a graduate of Winona State University with a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communication: Journalism. 

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