Christmas gifts

The Meeker County Holiday Project will go on, despite challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The annual drive, organized by United Community Action Partnership, collects toys for local children who might otherwise go without a Christmas. And this year, with the local economy hurting, many more families are likely to need assistance.

As it has for the past 31 years, Center National Bank's toy drive plays a significant role in collection of toys and cash for the Holiday Project. People can bring new items or cash to Center Bank during regular business hours 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. Toys must be new and unused for children ages infant to 16 years old. Deadline for donations is Thursday, Dec. 17.

This year, toy distribution will be run differently, because of COVID-19 restrictions. Rather than having a "toy store" open for parents to walk through and pick items, volunteers will bag items for each family while trying to fulfill the wishes of children signed up for the program.

Families in need, or people willing to sponsor a family, can call Rochelle Brummond of UCAP at 320-693-7911.

Along with toys for children, families enrolled in the program will receive a holiday meal.