Catholic Charities Emergency Services, in conjunction with the Valhalla Detachment of the U.S. Marine Corps League, is sponsoring the annual St. Cloud Area Toys for Tots program to ensure no child goes without a gift during the holiday season. In 2020, the St. Cloud program distributed 12,331 toys and supported 2,234 children.
New, unwrapped toys are being collected for children, ages 0 to 12, in drop boxes throughout St. Cloud, Waite Park, Sauk Rapids, Sartell, St. Joseph, Rice, Royalton, St. Augusta, Collegeville and Cold Spring. Catholic Charities Emergency Services prefers that toys be placed in these drop boxes, which are coordinated by Marine Corps League members. A list of the drop-off sites can be found on the St. Cloud Catholic Charities website at https://bit.ly/3qQgHSJ.
Online donations may also be made to the local Marine Toys for Tots Campaign listed on the Catholic Charities website at https://bit.ly/3Fu9L1y. Donations are used to shop for items that the program may be short of for certain age groups.
Toy distribution for families begins Thursday, Dec. 9. Families must register online before Friday, Dec. 3, with forms found on the Catholic Charities website. For more information regarding the application process, call Catholic Charities Emergency Services at 320-229-4560.
Another holiday program, Catholic Charities “Share the Spirit” matches families in need during the holiday season with individuals, families and organizations who wish to help them by providing gifts and grocery cards. Donors are asked to spend about $70 per family member, which includes $60 for gifts and $10 for a grocery card. “Family applications continue to come in daily,” said program coordinator Bambi Holloway.
To adopt a Share the Spirit family, visit ccstcloud.org/share-the-spirit and complete the online donor form by Monday, Nov. 29. Participants will receive information about their family via email. Gift-wrapped items are to be delivered to the Minnesota National Guard Armory (1710 Veterans Drive) in St. Cloud on Thursday, Dec. 16, during the hours of 7:30 to 10 a.m., noon to 2 p.m. or 3 to 5 p.m.
Online donations are also accepted through the website or by mail. Mail donations to Catholic Charities, 911 18th St. N., St. Cloud, MN 56303. To designate your mailed gift for Share the Spirit (or another specific purpose) print the information on your check.