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2019 Journal Cheer Club a big success

Toys aren’t necessary for a child to have a happy Christmas. However, just knowing people had the generosity to donate toys to kids they didn’t know is enough.

Plus, it can’t hurt to have a truck or stuffed animal under the tree on Christmas morning.

That’s why we’re glad to see hundreds of area families benefited this year through The Mining Journal’s annual Cheer Club.

Through the Cheer Club, which began on Nov. 29, unwrapped gifts were collected to be donated to local children and families in need during the holidays.

Gifts were distributed through St. Vincent de Paul of Marquette as well as the Salvation Army locations in Marquette and Ishpeming.

Salvation Army Capt. Doug Winters told The Mining Journal that gift donations were on par with previous years, and that’s a good thing; 6,800 gifts were collected for local youths.

This year, toys were divided into categories and organized during the Toy Shop at the former Younkers location, with each child receiving two to three gifts, a book, a game, a clothing item and stocking stuffers.

Donated items included giant teddy bears, bicycles, toy trucks, dolls, a microscope and a sand art kit, among many others.

About 1,000 of the items will remain in the toy program to be given away at the 2020 Toy Shop, with the gifts also supporting the Salvation Army’s Adopt A Family program.

Winters said the Cheer Club represents the Salvation Army’s top source of toys, noting 595 youngsters had toys this year — and that probably wouldn’t have happened without the Cheer Club.

In fact, he noted some families were emotional in expressing their appreciation of coming away with toys for their youngsters.

So, it’s not just kids who benefit.

Parents see their children having a more festive Christmas, and community members know they made a difference in some child’s life, even in some small way.

We’re happy to see the Cheer Club had another successful year, and hope the effort continues into future holiday seasons.