The 2017 Winona Area Toys for Kids Toy Store was successfully held this last Dec. 16th. This success was made possible by the generous monetary donations from businesses, organizations, and individuals, the businesses and organizations that allowed the placement of about 160 collection barrels to be placed in their facilities for the month of November, the many individuals who filled these barrels with toys, the special parties and events held to provide toys by the many businesses and organizations, the publicity support provided by KNOW Radio, Winona Post, the Daily News, and Vision Design, provision of all the collection barrels by Peerless Chain, and the logistical support provided by Minnesota State College SE, and the uncountable hours and efforts of the fifty plus volunteers expended in contacting the community, delivering and picking up barrels, getting the toys from the barrels, sorting the toys, setting up and manning the Toy Store.

All in all this represents a lot of money, time and effort expended that some could say produces little if any personal reward to those that expend this money, time, and effort.

But, for me and I am sure the vast majority of the contributors to Winona Area Toys for Kids, this unsolicited E-Mail I received from a Mother that I have never met is more reward than I could rightfully expect.

“Dear Mr. Don Anderson,
I didn’t know who else to email so since yours was attached to the site I am emailing you. I wanted to thank you and your organization for this year. If it weren’t for your wonderful organization, staff and the many forces of miracles coming together, my children wouldn’t have been able to receive such nice gifts. My daughter was able to get a bike after I found the paperwork for it, while my youngest got a kitchen set. I was in awe. I later cried in my car. I have never been able to afford such nice items for my children and after two car accidents and loss of employment this year, I was able to get my four kids each two nice things from this toy drive today. I just wanted to express my deepest appreciation and email you and thank you from the bottom of my heart. It’s the people of this organization, donations and silent Angels that without them and their kind donations, I would have been giftless.
Once again, this wonderful morning restored my faith in humanity. This reminds me that there still is some good out there and I can’t thank you enough.

Merry Christmas,
The xxxxxx Family”