MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJMN) – The old Younkers building in the Westwood Mall is being converted into a toy land as the Salvation Army aims to help make this Christmas a little happier for 228 families in Marquette County.
“519 kids we’re going to be serving,” said Capt. Doug Winters, Marquette County Salvation Army. “That’s excluding the families that are also with our adopt-a-family. So a lot of families are struggling to pay bills, to stay in their house and so Christmas just adds another layer of stress for the parents especially. They want the best for their kids.”
Some of the toys that are part of the distribution are coming from Toys For Tots. Just one trailer filled with toys that they dropped off Monday afternoon contained over $10,000 worth of toys.
“This is just from the toys collected in the Ishpeming/Negaunee area,” said Tracey Tippett, Toys For Tots Coordinator. We’re still collecting from the Marquette and the Gwinn area yet.”
Tippett says this year’s Toys for Tots collection has been very successful.
“We’ve had more businesses wanting the toy donation boxes at their businesses,” said Tippett. “Or otherwise monetary donations coming in, it has been….. Marquette County has been great. Overwhelming support for this toy campaign.”
And their was one special donation from Gabe Kreitner, a six-year-old who wanted to give his birthday presents to cause instead of keeping them for himself.
“Because I wanted to give toys to other people to be nice to them,” said Gabe.
The distribution will be on Thursday and Friday for families in need.