25 years of toy giveaways from the Heartland United Way

Toys for Tots
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Toys for Tots

By Kasey Mintz

Published: Dec. 16, 2022 at 9:24 PM CST

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - For some, Christmas time can bring a great deal of stress because of finances, especially this year with inflation sky-high.

But for the 25th year, the Heartland United Way along with several community partners helped take a little of that stress away. All day Friday, families were able to go to the Pinnacle Bank Expo Center at Fonner Park to shop for presents for their kids.

The best part is everything is free courtesy of donations of Toys for Tots and even some from Local4’s Present Patrol.

As for how the event worked, when a parent walks they are greeted by a shopper which was a volunteer that helped guide families through various tables of toys. Some volunteers like Sue Pirnie have made the event a yearly tradition.

“A long time, I’d say it’s over 10 years, started many years ago and it’s just something that helping set up like yesterday and coming today to help the families shop for their kids or grandkids or whatever they are looking for so it means so much,” Pirnie said.

Among the team of volunteers were 10 high school seniors from Hampton. Lillian Dose and Brooke Lubke said they take pride in their school making this event a yearly tradition.

“I mean it’s pretty awesome, we talked on the way here we are the only school here,” Dose said. “Like just knowing we can help out in that way and we’re the only ones, I mean that’s pretty cool.”

Allie Remm with the Heartland United Way said having the volunteers are a big help.

“I think of all the events this is definitely the one where we see the community come together, they want to support one another, even helping hand stepped forward to help deliver toys to Fonner Park this year,” Remm said.

Remm also told Local4 News if anyone would like to volunteer in the future, they generally open volunteer registration in November.

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