‘Joy of Sharing’ organizers optimistic about generous response Friday
Last year, the community donated nearly $24,000, 4,500 pounds of food and more than 1,300 toys to Toys for Tots, the Hunger Task Force of La Crosse and The Salvation Army of La Crosse County
ONALASKA, Wis. (WKBT) — You can help put smiles on people’s faces throughout the community by donating to three local organizations Friday.
For the second year in a row, News 8 Now is partnering with Festival Foods and Castle Realty for the “Joy of Sharing.”
Last year, the community donated nearly $24,000, 4,500 pounds of food and more than 1,300 toys to Toys for Tots, the Hunger Task Force of La Crosse and The Salvation Army of La Crosse County.
While last year was a huge success, community leaders say we can do even better this year.
‘Tis the season of giving.
Now is the perfect time to give some help to those who need it, community leaders say.
“People are in the giving mood this holiday season,” said Shelly Fortner, executive director of the Hunger Task Force of La Crosse. “And we’re very happy to be a recipient, because we have mouths to feed.”
The food bank hopes to receive up to 4 tons of nonperishable goods — literally. Fortner said.
“And I think that’s doable, because this community is so very generous,” Fortner said.
Organizers of the Toys for Tots drive don’t have a set goal in mind for new, unwrapped toy donations.
“Whatever we get, we get,” media co-chair Jason Jones said. “We know La Crosse always comes up big.”
Just over 400 La Crosse County families signed up for the program this year, Jones said.
And he believes there will be a good turnout to help these families.
“It’s really a good day to see how thankful everybody is, and how happy you’re making kids,” Jones said.
Folks can also donate cash, which is what The Salvation Army needs.
“That goes to supporting our shelter and just our overall operations, which is extremely helpful,” community relations specialist Hope Hickman said.
The monetary donations help keep the nonprofit open, Hickman said.
“Without donations and volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do,” Hickman said.
Three local organizations with separate needs, but the same goal: putting a smile on everyone’s face before the happiest time of the year.
Donations to the “Joy of Sharing,” which takes place at the Festival Foods in Onalaska Friday, stay local.
You have most of the day to make a donation.
News 8 Now staffers will be at Festival Foods from 5 a.m. from 6:30 p.m. with live reports throughout the day on WKBT.
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