April 22, 2024

Community spirit flourishes with multiple charitable drivesunity 

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In a display of community spirit during the holiday season, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office has initiated a “giving tree” program to support those in need. This initiative, a first for the Sheriff’s Office, was launched in the historic courthouse, reflecting the area’s commitment to charitable endeavors.

Chief Deputy Jen Vipond and Records and Dispatch Supervisor Tina McGrath proposed the idea of the giving tree, envisioning it as a bridge between the Sheriff’s Office and the community. This approach to holiday giving involves a tree adorned with anonymous tags, each representing a request from a local individual facing hardships.

Community members are invited to participate by selecting a tag from the tree, purchasing the requested item, and returning it with the tag to the Sheriff’s Office. The office staff will then wrap the gifts and coordinate with local organizations, including Someplace Safe, Safe Harbor, and county social services, to ensure they reach the intended recipients.

In a parallel effort, the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) chapter at Herman-Norcross School, led by Jayne Oachs, recently organized a successful coat drive. With 13 dedicated members, the chapter managed to collect 139 adult-sized coats in just two hours, far surpassing their initial goal of 75.

The drive-by coat drive not only provided warmth to those in need, but also allowed students to actively participate in community service. Each donor received a thank you note, a small gesture highlighting the appreciation for their contribution. The collected coats were donated to Someplace Safe in Morris.

Jayne Oachs, the FCCLA chapter advisor, expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming support and donations, noting, “The students were really thankful for all of the donations and really enjoyed the opportunity to serve others.”

Additionally, Western Prairie Human Services is conducting the “Toys for Tots and Teens” drive. To be eligible for the program, children must be residents of Grant County. Families seeking assistance must complete a form and provide a mailing address by December 8. The form highlights the community’s desire to brighten the holidays for those in need, though it mentions that due to the reliance on donations, the availability of gifts cannot be guaranteed. Those who apply will be placed on a waiting list and notified about gift distribution if donations permit.

These initiatives reflect Grant County’s commitment to community solidarity and support, especially during the holiday season. Through the collective efforts of public organizations, private entities, and individuals, the county aims to ensure that the festive spirit reaches every corner of the community.

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