Toy drive benefits local charities
Ever since 1993, the St. Croix Chippewa of Wisconsin have helped to bring Christmas cheer to thousands of children through their "Gifts from the Heart" toy drive.
During this year's drive, co-hosted by St. Croix Casino Turtle Lake, St. Croix Casino Danbury and St. Croix Casino Hertel Express, more than 2,500 guests donated toys.
Sharing the Christmas spirit through the "Gifts from the Heart" toy drive is a cooperative effort. Casino guests, who donate the toys; the casinos, which gives $5 to each guest donating a toy; and countless casino staff, who box and deliver toys; all work together to make the toy drive a success.
But the success of the toy drive depends on the staff and volunteers at northwestern Wisconsin charities. Without their dedicated service, none of the toys collected in the "Gifts from the Heart" drive would ever reach a child. Area service organizations, school organizations, civic clubs and charities mobilize to make sure that every child in their community receives a toy or gift for Christmas.
"We're privileged to be a part of such a worthwhile community effort," said Leroy Buck, St. Croix Casino Turtle Lake general manager. "We hope that in some small way we can lighten the load of all of the community volunteers who work together to bring Christmas cheer to area families."
St. Croix Casino personnel delivered the donated toys to 14 charities in Barron, Burnett, Polk, Rusk, Sawyer, St. Croix and Washburn counties on Dec. 6 and 7. Over the past 18 years, more than 88,000 toys have been collected and distributed to charities in northwestern Wisconsin through the Gifts from the Heart toy drive.