Crusade for Toys, Red Kettle collections gathering steam

Becky Vargo • Nov 21, 2018 at 2:00 PM

Collection boxes are out in the community for the annual American Legion Goodfellows Crusade for Toys.

Area firefighters will also be manning various stations over the next couple of weekends to collect toys and financial donations for the project.

“We are anticipating a great need again this year for toys and clothing,” said Goodfellow Ray Ribbink. 

The Goodfellows receive referrals from The Salvation Army, which takes applications from those in need.

Last year’s program served 144 families with 351 children, Ribbink said.

Maj. Sally Davis of The Salvation Army’s Grand Haven corps said they have so far this year referred more than 100 families to the Goodfellows. More referrals are expected this week, she said.

Applications for help through the Goodfellows can be made through Thanksgiving, Davis said. The Salvation Army will continue to accept applications for Christmas help through their Toy Shop day, which is Dec. 18.

In the meantime, volunteers will be ringing bells at Red Kettles located throughout the area, and donations will also be accepted at The Salvation Army office at 310 N. DeSpelder St., Grand Haven. Area residents can pick up suggestions for toys off angel trees located at various businesses throughout the community, Davis said.

All of the donations through Crusade for Toys and to The Salvation Army stay in Northwest Ottawa County, Davis noted.

Go online to sagrandhaven.org for more information about volunteering and donations.

“Right now, we’re giving away coats and some hats, gloves and mittens,” Davis said. “People can just walk in any time.”

Davis said The Salvation Army’s food pantry is filling up again and is open Tuesdays and Thursdays.

At the American Legion, donated toys and clothing — purchased by the legion’s Women’s Auxiliary — will be wrapped and placed into large family boxes a few days before Christmas.

About a quarter of the toys collected the previous year are held over to give the Goodfellows a jumpstart on this year’s boxes, Ribbink said.

Davis said people are always helping their neighbors in Ottawa County.

“We’re all working together to make sure no family goes without Christmas this season,” she said.

Below are the dates and times for Crusade for Toys collections by area fire departments:

Crockery Township Fire Department

Locations: The four-way stop in Nunica (112th Avenue and Cleveland Street), and the Nunica EZ Mart (Marathon gas station), 11956 Cleveland St.

When: Friday, Nov. 30, from 5-9 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 1, from 8 a.m. to noon.  

Ferrysburg Fire Department

Location: Leppinks grocery store, 17717 174th Ave., Ferrysburg

When: Friday, Nov. 30, 5-8 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec.1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There will also be drop boxes at Leppinks, Ferrysburg City Hall, Tony's Pizza & Sub, and possibly a few other locations.

Grand Haven Department of Public Safety

Location: Ringing bells at Washington Avenue and Third Street, downtown Grand Haven

When: Friday, Nov. 23, from 3-8 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 24, from 1-6 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 30, from 3-8 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 1, from 12-5 p.m.

Donations of money and toys are also being collected at the public safety office, 525 Washington Ave. 

Grand Haven Township Fire Rescue 

Location: Drop off toys and financial donations at the station, 13250 168th Ave.

When: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays

Spring Lake Township Fire Rescue

Locations: Shell and Admiral gas stations

When: Friday, Nov. 30, 6-9 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 1, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Monetary donations may be sent directly to the American Legion, 900 S. Harbor Ave., Grand Haven, MI 49417. Note on your check that the donation is for Crusade for Toys.

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