The gift of giving


The giving season is upon us, and due to the ever-increasing need experienced by area families this time of year, there are various ways to give so that everyone can enjoy a brighter holiday. Adopt-A-Family, Santa Anonymous and Toys for Tots are all ways to keep your donated gifts local. 


For 23 years in Le Sueur County, this program has operated through St. Wenceslaus Parish with assistance from the Lutheran churches in Montgomery, New Prague, Le Center, Le Sueur and Kilkenny. The county’s Department of Human Services establishes need by surveying families and asking the ages and needs of their children. From there, a list of needed outerwear and clothing gift choices are compiled, with names removed for privacy. Then families, individuals, businesses and groups can choose (“adopt”) a child or family to shop for. 

There are several ways to give to this program. One is to actually adopt a family and purchase the items requested. Another way to give is to donate cash, and have the volunteer team of “Super Shoppers” purchase the clothing and outerwear requested. A third way to give is to donate toys, games and other non-clothing items that are appropriate for ages 0-16. Parents can then select gifts suitable for their children.

To adopt a family, donate money or non-clothing items, contact Neaner Kriha at 507-364-5408 and leave a message. All donations must be at Neaner’s White Front Saloon, 301 1st St. S., by Saturday, December 8. 

Santa Anonymous

Santa Anonymous provides Christmas toys to Le Sueur County children of low income families. Since 1977, the organization has served 630 children from 262 families, and the number of new families to the program increases each year. 

Donations can include cash, new toys that are educational, long-lasting and non-violent, new socks, hats, mittens, stocking stuffers, coats (clean and in good condition), bedding, quilts and blankets. Volunteers ask that you avoid stuffed toys, and add that teen items are always in need.

There are several drop sites in Montgomery, including TCU High School, Montgomery Elementary and Middle Schools, CornerStone State Bank, and Frandsen Bank & Trust. Please leave price tags on the unwrapped gifts so they can be sorted by value. The deadline for Santa Anonymous donations is Monday, December 10. For more information, contact Rita Picha by leaving a message at Holy Redeemer School, 507-364-7383, or call Le Sueur County Human Services at 507-357-8298.

Toys for Tots

Another way to give locally is by simply dropping off a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. The Arts & Heritage Center, 206 1st St. N, Montgomery, is collecting toys and cash for families in Le Sueur County with their annual Toys for Tots drive. Drop your toys at the center during business hours Thursdays and Fridays from 2-5 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-noon. Donations will also be accepted during upcoming special events.

Sharing Tree

One of the easiest ways to spread the joy to a Montgomery person returns this year.

The Montgomery Sharing Tree, organized by the Mobilize Montgomery office and other volunteers,  is now being sponsored by Aging Services for Communities and its employees Shelly Barnett, Karen Hiscox,  Tanya Hauer, Elisha Hanks and Becky Kuball.

“When we were asked to take a part in the Sharing Tree, it seemed like a good fit. We provide services to the Elderly and Disabled persons in the form of Homemaker Services, Transportation & Respite, and the sharing tree provides gifts to those shut in elderly and disabled persons who may not have any family around here and it lifts their spirits during the Christmas Holiday Season,” said Shelly Barnett, the organization’s Executive Director. “Also, it’s nice to see young children picking a card from the Sharing Tree being taught the value of giving.”

Many of the great things about the Sharing Tree continue this year, like how it works. To spread the cheer, pick one of the 115 ornaments (Christmas cards) from the tree, purchase it, put in a gift bag and return it to Aging Services for Communities by the December 14 deadline. The recipients on the tree are Montgomery adults, many of whom are senior citizens from Park Manor, Traditions of Montgomery, Mala Strana Health Care, and the Harbor.


What’s new?

One of the new things this year is the price of the gifts. To make the Sharing Tree more affordable for gift buyers, gift or gifts can total up to $20.  


Additional tree


Another new item is the location of the tree. The main tree is located at Aging Services for Communities, which is located at 212 1st Street South. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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