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Runestone Detachment prepares for annual Toys for Kids campaign

Boxes for donations of brand-new unwrapped toys are available at area businesses including Fleet Farm, Menards, Walgreens and Walmart.

Toys for Kids 2021.jpg
Members of the Runestone Detachment of the Marine Corps League coordinate the distribution of toys and meals for Toys for Kids each year.
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ALEXANDRIA — The holiday season is approaching, and the Runestone Detachment of the Marine Corps League is doing what it can to ensure that those who cannot afford gifts or a meal will not go without.

For about eight years, the Runestone Detachment has headed up the Douglas County area's annual Toys for Kids/Toys for Tots campaign.

"We distribute toy boxes and ask for donations throughout the county," said program coordinator Grant Haugen. "It's been a very successful program."

Last year alone, the group gave toys to approximately 650 kids in more than 270 families, Haugen said. At least 200 food baskets were also handed out on distribution day.

Applications for this year are currently being accepted.

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"There's about 40 families that have applied already, so I'd say it's rolling," Haugen said.

To apply for participation in the program, contact Love INC at 320-759-3022 or one of the churches associated with Love INC, Haugen said.

Toys for Kids is coordinated with assistance from Love INC.

"The Marine Corps League chose to partner with Love INC so if families that apply for toys at Christmas time need additional assistance, they have a faith-based organization that can assist them," Haugen said.

Boxes for donations of brand-new unwrapped toys are available at area businesses including Fleet Farm, Menards, Walgreens and Walmart. The toys will be picked up by Monday, Dec. 12, Haugen said.

The meals are being purchased in part by Cullen's Home Center, with contributions from area churches including Covenant Church, Reach Church and First Lutheran Church, Haugen said.

"We really appreciate all the financial support and donations, not only from companies, but from individuals also. There's a lot of individuals that donate," Haugen said.

Toy and meal distribution will take place at Reach Church on Friday, Dec. 16.

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To help the donation programs:

  • While Christmas shopping, buy one extra gift to give to a child 15 years of age or under. Place the new, unwrapped gift at one of the drop points throughout the area.
  • Make a cash donation to the program. Make out the checks to "Toys for Kids, Runestone Detachment 1409." Checks can be mailed to: Runestone Detachment 1409, Marine Corps League, 1102 Third Ave. E., Alexandria, MN 56308.
  • Provide a toy drop box location in your business or company.

Both Toys for Kids and the Toys for Tots organizations are 501 (c)(3) non-profit organizations.
For more information, contact Grant Haugen at 320-815-1395 or g.777haugen@gmail.com, or visit www.alexmarines.org or www.facebook.com/MCLRunestone .

Travis Gulbrandson covers several beats, including Osakis School Board and Osakis City Council, along with the Brandon-Evansville School Board. His focus will also be on crime and court news.
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