At the Community Action Partnership (CAP) of Scott, Carver and Dakota Counties, officials know the holidays can be difficult for some families.
“It’s definitely a time of increased need,” said Jennifer Baker, communications coordinator with CAP. “The holidays are a time when families on a limited income need help, and their budgets are already stretched thin.”
One way the organization supports these families during the Christmas season is Hope for the Holidays, which puts toys in the hands of families that may not be otherwise able to buy them.
Canterbury Park supports the effort by giving guests who donate a new toy 500 bonus points on their MVP Rewards Cards. People can drop off toys through Wednesday, Dec. 12.
More than 100 businesses and organizations in the three-county area contribute to the Hope for the Holidays effort, Baker said. About 3,000 people will benefit from the endeavor, making the season a bit brighter for those in need.
Once collected, the toys are stored at the CAP Agency in Shakopee, where families can browse and select the gifts, Baker said.
“It’s pretty incredible to see the families going through and finding something their kids are going to love,” she said.
If you are planning to donate, the toy drive — which also includes an “Adopt a Family” component — usually needs items for older children and teenagers, Baker said.
Hope for the Holidays has been part of CAP’s programming for more than 30 years. But the organization also added a new initiative this year that asks people to contribute gift bags for senior citizens. The gift bag items range from household goods to more fun things and help seniors stretch budgets at this time of year.
“And let them know the community is thinking about them this Christmas,” Baker said.
While the holidays always mark a time of more giving, CAP works year-round to support “a strong community with healthy individuals and families, quality education, safe and stable housing and work that dignifies,” according to its website.
Find more information about the group on its website.
Learn more about Canterbury Cares initiatives.