Toys for Tots campaign reaches almost 1,200 area children
The generosity of area residents, organizations, and businesses, helped make sure almost 1,200 area children received toys for Christmas through the Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative (CWEC) Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots campaign.
That marked an increase of almost 150 children when compared to the 2022 CWEC Toys for Tots campaign.
Toy donations were collected at more than 30 area businesses in Birnamwood, Bowler, Clintonville, Elderon, Iola, Manawa, Marion, Rosholt, Scandinavia, Tigerton, Waupaca, and Wittenberg. Monetary donations were also collected, which were used to purchase toys. With those donations, roughly 3,200 toys, 350 books, and 1,000 stocking stuffers were distributed to area children. Those totals were an increase from 2022.
“With inflation still an issue for families, we were not surprised that there was an increase in requests for toys for this year’s campaign,” said Bert Lehman, Toys for Tots coordinator and member relations specialist for CWEC. “But thanks to the monetary donations and the donations of toys, we were able to supply toys to all who requested them.”
The toys were collected, sorted, and then distributed to communities and families in the CWEC service area. This area covers parts of western Waupaca County (including Iola-Scandinavia and Manawa school districts), northern Portage County (including Rosholt School District), southern Marathon County (including Wittenberg-Birnamwood School District), and western Shawano County (including Tigerton and Bowler school districts).
For more than 20 years Central Wisconsin Electric Cooperative (CWEC) has partnered with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve to organize a Toys for Tots campaign in the CWEC service area each Christmas. Through the campaign, CWEC provides help to area families in need by supplying donated toys to the families, so they can give their children Christmas presents.
The campaign’s success was also aided by the involvement of the departments at the co-op.
“There is a lot of work done in a short amount of time for the Toys for Tots campaign to be successful, but it is very rewarding for everyone involved, knowing that Christmas for area children is a little brighter because of this Toys for Tots campaign,” Lehman said.