Christmas will be happier for children in northwest Wisconsin communities, thanks to an ongoing program of the St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin.
From November 26 through December 1, the tribe’s 2012 Gifts from the Heart toy drive collected 2,500 toys, which were distributed to 16 northwestern Wisconsin charities on December 3 and 4. Almost 2,100 guests and employees of the St. Croix tribe’s three casinos—St. Croix Casino Danbury, St. Croix Casino Hertel Express and St. Croix Casino Turtle Lake—donated toys to this year’s drive.
Since 1993, the Gifts from the Heart drive has collected and distributed more than 97,500 toys to charities in northwest Wisconsin.
The following 16 charities received toys from the 2012 Gifts from the Heart drive: Burnett County Connections, Siren; Cameron Community Club, Cameron; Christmas for Kids Program, Chetek; Clayton Christmas Fund, Clayton; Clear Lake Christmas Fund, Clear Lake; Operation Christmas, Balsam Lake; Operation Santa, Rice Lake; Osceola Community Christmas, Osceola; Prairie Farm Lions Club, Prairie Farm; Rusk County Salvation Army, Ladysmith; Salvation Army, New Richmond; Spooner Christmas Fund, Spooner; Stone Lake Emergency Fund, Stone Lake; Turtle Lake S.O.S. Program, Turtle Lake; Washburn County Food Pantry, Spooner; WestCAP, Glenwood City.