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Because need remains, Cheer Club continues this year as always

The COVID-19 pandemic will undoubtedly make this holiday season different than any other in recent memory.

However, here at The Mining Journal, we’re ensuring our annual Cheer Club — which provides gifts for children in need during the holiday season — is a tradition that keeps going amid the pandemic, as more families than ever will likely need assistance this year.

For decades, the Cheer Club has helped put presents under the tree and fill the stockings of hundreds of children thanks to the generosity of the community.

Gifts are collected at drop-off locations throughout Marquette County and then distributed to the Salvation Army and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, agencies that ensure the presents reach a local family in need.

“We appreciate people’s support,” Capt. Doug Winters of the Salvation Army of Marquette County told the Journal in a Friday article. “People who donate toys are what makes this program run and make it successful each year. We appreciate that and it allows us to get those toys to kids in need.”

At the Salvation Army of Marquette County, officials are already seeing many first-time registrants for their holiday assistance program.

“We believe the demand is going to be even higher this year than previous years,” Winters told the Journal.

However, some alterations have been made to the donation drop-off process to ensure the safety of donors and organizers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Journal’s office, located at 249 W. Washington St. in downtown Marquette, remains closed to the public due to coronavirus, but donors will still be able to drop off their Cheer Club gifts in a box located inside the building’s vestibule.

The Journal’s office will begin accepting donations of unwrapped toys and other gifts on Nov. 27 and will accept them through Christmas Eve. Several other Cheer Club donation drop-off locations will be announced Friday.

Donors will also safely be able to continue the tradition of getting their photo taken with their donation at the Journal’s office.

While the donation of toys for younger children is always appreciated, we also encourage donors to consider older kids and teens, who might enjoy gifts such as headphones, gift certificates, hoodies and other items.

We hope our readers will consider donating to local children in need through the Cheer Club, as any gift, large or small, can brighten a child’s holiday season.

Families can sign up for holiday assistance programs with the Salvation Army of Marquette County through Dec. 4 or the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Marquette from 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays through Nov. 30.

For more information, contact the Salvation Army of Marquette County at 906-226-2241 or the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Marquette at 906-226-3721.

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