Crusading for toys

An unexpected donation will help bring joy to more children this Christmas and for years to come, said Crusade for Toys Chairman Ray Ribbink.
Becky Vargo
Nov 25, 2013

Officers from the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety accepted a $10,000 donation for the crusade last week from Gary and Carol Tripp on behalf of Gary’s brother, the late David Tripp.

David was a maintenance worker for the City of Grand Haven who enjoyed being the unofficial photographer for the city’s emergency services, his brother said. David, who died April 14 at the age of 62, also loved helping with the Crusade for Toys.

The Crusade for Toys is a local program created in 1939 by the American Legion Goodfellows to help needy children who would otherwise be forgotten at Christmas time, Ribbink said. Grand Haven firefighters joined the crusade in 1959 in an effort to get more toys and financial donations. They have since been joined by the firefighters in Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Robinson townships, and Ferrysburg.

Boxes have already been put out in the area for this year's toy collections. The fire departments will also host collection drives over the next couple of weekends.

Ribbink said donations will be accepted through Dec. 18. The Goodfellows will wrap family boxes the next day and deliver them on Dec. 21.

The Goodfellows have asked to support 400 children this year, Ribbink said. That means they will be wrapping between 180 and 200 family boxes.

Families are screened through The Salvation Army.

Capt. Jay Davis of the army's Grand Haven corps said they are excited — not only about the donation for the crusade, but also by a $10,000 donation made by Tripp for The Salvation Army food pantry.

“It will make a difference in many people’s lives in the community,” said his wife, Capt. Sally Davis.

Tripp also donated $20,000 to Grand Haven Christian Schools.

Grand Haven Department of Public Safety will kick off the collection drive this weekend in downtown Grand Haven. A fire truck will be positioned at the corner of Third Street and Washington Avenue on the following dates and times: Friday, Nov. 29, from 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 30, from 1-5 p.m.; Friday, Dec. 6, from 3-8 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 7, from noon to 6 p.m.

Grand Haven Township Fire-Rescue will collect only at their station, 13250 168th Ave., seven days a week.

Robinson Township firefighters will be at Spinners gas station from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6; and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. The store is located at the corner of Lincoln Street and 128th Avenue.

Crockery Township firefighters will collect donations Dec. 6 and 7 at the intersection of  Cleveland Street and 112th Avenue. Hours are 5-9 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Spring Lake Township firefighters will be at the Admiral, 315 W. Savidge, and the Shell, 728 E. Savidge, gas stations on Dec. 6 and 7. Hours are 6-9 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. to about 4 p.m. on Saturday.

A fundraising event will be held all day on Saturday, Dec 7, at the Eagles, 20 N. Second St.

Santa and area fighters will be in attendance to help collect donations for Crusade for Toys.

Bill Ellingboe will provide music from 2-6 p.m. and the Carl Webb Band will be featured from 8:30-11:30 p.m.



Finally, a feel good story.

deuce liti

Well, allow me to ruin it then:

All it shows is that people only care about these children one day a year.


I disagree with you for once. I think many "people", you included, care all the time, are involved when needed most of the time, and think about these kids a lot.

It is however this time of year when it is possible to have those that don't think of "these children" very often to actually feel something and help out as well. Nothing wrong with the effort if the goal is correct, it's not like you to be cynical.

As always, thanks to my, "our" Legion, and to the men and women who continue to serve in many different arenas.


Shame on you.


Shame on you deuce liti.


Are you really serious. I guess one could argue that the Crusade for Toys is just once a year (I don't agree), but the food pantry and the Christian school donations are helpful all year long. The family donating doesn't have a mean bone in their body and you criticize?

deuce liti

I'm a regular Dennis level menace.


Does anyone know how families can sign up for this? I see articles like this all the time, but they never let anyone know how they can actually contact the organization for assistance if they are in need!

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