ST. CLOUD -- It is not too late to help those in need this Christmas season. From food shelves to toy drives there is a way to help your central Minnesota neighbors. Here are just a few of the ways you can lend a helping hand.
Each year the Marine Corps and Marine Corps Reserve collect donations of unwrapped toys for children in need.
Toys For Tots has over 100 local places you can drop off gifts. If you can't make it to one of those locations, there is also a way to make a monetary donation through their website.
According to Toysfortots.org, over 97 percent of all donations go directly to providing for children in need. The other three percent mainly go toward fundraising expenses, so not a single dollar goes to someone's salary.
St. Cloud Hospital Festival of Lights - Though the event is free and open to everyone, the Festival of Lights is a great way to help support local food shelves.
The annual event is Thursday, December 7th and starts at 6:00 p.m. Those who attend are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to support local food shelves.
Holly Jolly Trolly - The Holly Jolly Trolly food drive is another way you can help local food shelves. Formerly known as Fill the Flyer, the Holly Jolly Trolly will take place from December 11th through December 15th from 4:00 p.m to 7:00 p.m. at different stores each day.
- MON 12/11: Coborn's -- Cooper Avenue in St. Cloud (4P-7P)
- TUE 12/12: Cash Wise East -- 4th Street in St. Cloud (4P-7P)
- WED 12/13: Lunds/Byerly's -- Division Street in St. Cloud (4P-7P)
- THU 12/14: Coborn's -- Benton Drive in Sauk Rapids (4P-7P)
- FRI 12/15: Coborn's -- Pinecone Road in Sartell (4P-7P)
Charity Challenge - The annual Charity Challenge is a tradition put on for the Norman C. Skalicky Foundation. The foundation matches donations (up to $100,000) to three area food shelves. The annual event has raised around 2.7 million dollars since it started in 2001.
Donations are accepted at the following food shelves.
Catholic Charities P.O. Box 2390 St. Cloud, MN
St. Cloud Salvation Army 400 U.S Highway 10 South St. Cloud, MN 56304
St. Joseph Community Food Shelf, P.O. Box 384 St. Joseph, MN 56374
Hope For The Holidays - One of the popular ways to help is by adopting a family. Hope for The Holidays helps connect you with families in need in the Sauk Rapids-Rice school district.
Tera Prom says they have around 30 families that are still looking to be adopted.
This is the 5th year of the organization, they helped 56 families last year and have a goal of helping 100 this year.
Operation Baby New Year - This time of year toy and food drives are common practice, but another item that's really needed is diapers.
Operation Baby New Year has events throughout December but also has locations you can drop off diapers.
They are accepting donations through December 31st.