Making Christmas brighter

FiveCAP toy distribution helps Manistee County families find Christmas gifts

 

MANISTEE — Starting work with FiveCAP on Monday, Staci Quillen-Brown was amazed at how giving the Manistee County community is.

“I think it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. I’m completely overwhelmed with the kindness and love that I’ve seen in Manistee County,” said Quillen-Brown, community services support employee for FiveCAP. “I’ve never seen so many people put so much time in, volunteer time.”

She and other employees and volunteers helped hundreds of families pick out toys for their children during its Toys for Tots/Gifts for Teens distribution event, which started Wednesday and continues from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today at the Manistee VFW Walsh Post No. 4499.

“I think it builds their morale and it makes them not feel so overwhelmed in their personal lives,” Quillen-Brown said. “They see that there are people out there and there are organizations out there that actually do care (and) want to help them.”

She said it also helps take pressure off of the participants to provide gifts for their children for the holiday season.

Parents and guardians of children ages 0 to 18 are eligible for FiveCAP’s Toys for Tots/Gifts for Teens program. Along with program co-sponsor Synergy Broadcast Group, owners of several local radio stations, FiveCAP provides thousands of children from hundreds of families with something to unwrap Christmas morning.

Since the end of November, unwrapped gifts were collected from donation barrels placed at businesses around the county and at the Manistee County FiveCAP office.

Quillen-Brown said the toys ranged from outdoor toys, such as sleds and skateboards, to stuffed animals, toy trucks and cars, among other things.

She said the area FiveCAP is lacking in gifts for teens.

“Teen boys and teen girls, and I would say even more toward the boys. That is an area that still could use a lot of help in donations going forward,” Quillen-Brown said.

A raffle for bicycles will also take place after the distribution concludes; participating families will draw a ticket and winners will be notified.

Laina Laarman, of Manistee, volunteered to help people find gifts.

“I think it’s pretty awesome and just the amount of donations is overwhelming in a really good way,” Laarman said. “It’s awesome that Manistee County really shows their support for the people who live in their county. They really did it up this year and donated a ton of toys and are going to make a ton of kids really happy.”

avatar

Posted by Sean Bradley

Sean is the city and cops and courts reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the entertainment and Reasons to Celebrate pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3109 or sbradley@pioneergroup.com.

Leave a Reply