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November Jefferson Awards: a merry Christmas for all

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The Covid-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench in Christmas Anonymous's usual plans, but it's still making sure every family has their needs met this holiday season.

Christmas Anonymous has been serving Olmsted county for the past 30 plus years.

This year, it's seeing a large increase in community need- the highest demand in years. Applications have been maxed out, and 2,019 kids are signed up to receive gifts.

Since the in-person KTTC toy drive was canceled this year, instead it is accepting donations through Target. You can buy a toy to be donated on the Target website, or you can pick one out in the store and drop it in a box by the Customer Service desk.

In the past, parents would be able to shop through the donated toys to hand-pick gifts for their children. But this year, it has been converted into a drive-thru. Families now submit applications including questions about their children's' interests so a tailored gift bag can be made for them.

When clients arrive at the drive-thru, the gift bags of toys will be placed in their trunk and then they'll pull ahead to the next stop where their car will be loaded with some food.

All three agree they couldn't do what they do without the help of volunteers, and Judy says they're what really inspires her to keep serving

"The young people and young college kids that come in to help escort families through is just amazing, We couldn't do our program without the youth that come to volunteer. They have to be 16 and above, and they're just happy. They come back year after year."

This year, Christmas Anonymous is searching for volunteers to help pack gift bags and distribute them during the December drive-thru.

Amanda Morgan

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