NW Michigan Toys for Tots collects new, unwrapped toys for needy children throughout northwest lower Michigan including Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Leelanau counties. Those toys are turned over to resource agencies in each county, such as Salvation Army, Goodwill, Father Fred and many others, to be distributed to pre-qualified families. The Goodwill Holiday Needs program distributes toys donated in Leelanau County to Leelanau County families.
All of the toys collected in Leelanau County through Dec. 13 will be given to Leelanau County children. Toys donated from Dec. 14-20 will be given to the NW Michigan Toys for Tots organization for distribution to other area counties in need of additional toys.
In 2012 Residents of Leelanau County donated nearly 1,700 toys — enough to meet the needs of Leelanau County children. That was the first year Leelanau County met its own need for toys.
NW Michigan Toys for Tots fills our gaps as far as toys needed for specific age groups, and also gives funds to the Leelanau County Toys for Tots coordinators so that they can shop for toys. In addition, the Antrim County based Bikes for Tykes program supplied a number of new bicycles to the Leelanau County effort in 2012.
Toys for Tots does not accept used toys, homemade toys, clothing, school supplies or food. Leelanau County residents are encouraged to donate those items to the Goodwill Holiday Needs program drop off location at Radio Shack in Suttons Bay, Leelanau Christian Neighbors, or other groups.
The effort to give Christmas to area children will only succeed if our community works together. Leelanau County is blessed with individuals and businesses who care about our community and care about those who are less fortunate than themselves. We are counting on Leelanau County to once again provide Christmas gifts to needy children in our county.
We are most grateful that the Suttons Bay Schools Holiday concert (Grades 5-12) will, hopefully, boost toy donations this year. The concert will be held at Suttons Bay High School Auditorium on December 5th at 6:30PM. Admission to the concert is free. They ask that a new, unwrapped, toy be donated at the school, either on the night of the concert or during school hours. A toy donation box will be available at Suttons Bay School from November 15 to December 13.
Any questions about the Leelanau County Toys for Tots effort may be directed to Charlie or Karen Fredrickson at 231-271-3620.
New, unwrapped toys may be donated at these local dropoffs:
Cherry Republic, 6026 S. Lake, Glen Arbor
Boonedocks, 5858 S. Manitou Trail, Glen Arbor
HomeTown Pharmacy, 6404 Western Ave., Glen Arbor
Huntington National Bank, 10210 W. Front, Empire
Taghon’s Garage, 12777 S. Benzonia Trail, Empire
MC Short Stop, 8634 S. Maple City Road, Maple City
Maple Valley Nursing Home, 1086 W. Burdickville Rd., Maple City