News Flash

Community News

Posted on: December 23, 2016

Toys for Joy Celebrates 30 Years of Giving Back

ANOKA, Minn. -- Thirty years ago, Toys for Joy began their mission to ensure that all children in Anoka County have gifts under the Christmas tree each year.

This year, the number of families in need in Anoka County is down but that didn’t stop dozens of volunteers from spreading some holiday cheer this week.

"It makes you feel good," says Gary Strand, Christmas Committee Co-Chair.

For three decades Toys for Joy has been putting smiles on little faces during the holiday season.

"It’s a huge community things, and how you can touch, even just with that one small gift, make somebody’s day or year, that’s what that kid wanted. To do that is just amazing," says Michael Hunstad, Toys For Joy Board Member.

This season fewer families in Anoka County are in need of assistance.

"This year we’re serving 850-900 families, which is probably 3,000-3,500 kids," says Hunstad.

And those who do need a little extra holiday help will receive food, toys, clothing and books so every child has a gift this holiday.

"It’s hard work, but it’s very rewarding, because you’ll get someone who comes in and is so grateful and they’ll cry and they’re really excited about the stuff you give them, so it’s kind of nice," says Renee Weber, Toys For Joy Secretary.

Over the course of 30 years, Toys for Joy has touched the lives of over 120,000 children in Anoka

"She says, ’I have never done this before, but we’re hurting,’ and I said, ’we’re helping,’ " says Strand.

The smiles on the faces of thousands of children make it all worth it.

"To be able to hand over a toy to somebody that they say, ’all my kid wanted was a Star Wars Lego set,’ and all you could find was a small package and you hand it over and the mom starts bawling, that makes your whole week," says Hunstad.

All the money raised through the Toys For Joy program stays in Anoka County.  There are no overhead costs as the group operates as part of the St. Paul Association of Realtors with all services and materials volunteered or donated.

(Copyright 2016 by CTN Coon Rapids.  All Rights Reserved.)

Watch Video Story
Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email

Other News in Community News

Out in the Cold 4 Youth

Posted on: December 7, 2018

New Indoor Self-Storage Facility Approved

Posted on: November 30, 2018

ALDI Remodels Northdale Blvd. Store

Posted on: November 30, 2018

NSC Hosts 'Hard Water Ice Fishing Expo'

Posted on: November 16, 2018

Local Teen Suffers a Rare Stroke

Posted on: November 9, 2018

New Playground Coming to Towerview Park

Posted on: November 9, 2018

Early Voting Turnout is Up

Posted on: November 2, 2018

City of Anoka Scaring Up Halloween Fun

Posted on: October 26, 2018

Fire Destroys Coon Rapids Home

Posted on: October 19, 2018

Fire Stations Open Doors to the Public

Posted on: October 19, 2018

ARCC Opens Food Shelf for Students

Posted on: September 28, 2018

Cardinals Mark Homecoming Week at CRHS

Posted on: September 28, 2018

CRPD Applying for Federal Grant Money

Posted on: September 21, 2018

Constitution Comes to Life at ARCC

Posted on: September 21, 2018

Honoring Those Who Protect and Serve

Posted on: September 21, 2018

New Study of Hwy. 65 Corridor Planned

Posted on: September 14, 2018

Land Bridge Repairs Underway on Main St.

Posted on: September 7, 2018

37th Annual Game Fair

Posted on: August 24, 2018

Expert Fire Investigator Dies at 58

Posted on: August 3, 2018

Anoka Hosts Food Truck Party

Posted on: July 26, 2018

First Farmers Market of the Season

Posted on: July 13, 2018

Business Spotlight: Crossfit Osiris

Posted on: April 20, 2018

April Snow Sidelines Spring Routines

Posted on: April 6, 2018

The Difference a Donation Makes

Posted on: March 23, 2018

New Sandwich Shop Opens in Anoka

Posted on: March 9, 2018

District 11 Redrawing School Boundaries

Posted on: February 23, 2018

Enrollment Up at ARCC, ATC

Posted on: February 9, 2018

Anoka Man Honored for Mental Health Work

Posted on: January 26, 2018

Bikes 4 Kids Celebrates Big Milestone

Posted on: January 5, 2018

Corrosion Discovered on Pedestrian Bridge

Posted on: December 22, 2017

Anoka County Board Adopts 2018 Tax Levy

Posted on: December 15, 2017

Riverwind Building Faces Uncertain Future

Posted on: December 23, 2016

ACBC Food Shelf Receives Some Holiday Help

Posted on: December 16, 2016

Alexandra House Receives $150,000 Donation

Posted on: December 16, 2016

Schulte Named 2nd Vice President of AMC

Posted on: December 16, 2016

New Senior Apartment Project Makes Debut

Posted on: December 16, 2016

Main Street Reconstruction Planned in 2018

Posted on: December 16, 2016