by Joni Astrup
Gifts Anonymous will be collecting new, unwrapped presents Saturday, Dec. 14, during the Downtown Elk River Holiday Celebration, as the deadline to donate nears.
Gifts Anonymous is designed to help area families who are financially unable to provide Christmas gifts for their children.
“We’re off to a slow start, but that’s typical,” said Michelle Eder, one of the program’s organizers. The cold weather hasn’t helped, as it affected turnout at the Dec. 7 tree-lighting ceremony in downtown Elk River, which is one of the events where toys are collected.
But the downtown event is another chance to help fill Santa’s sleigh with items for Gifts Anonymous. Santa and Mrs. Claus and reindeer will be at the River’s Edge Commons Park from noon to 3 p.m.
Presents can also be dropped into Gifts Anonymous barrels at locations in Elk River, Otsego and Ramsey. The deadline to donate gifts is Dec. 19.
Cash donations are accepted at any time at the Gifts Anonymous account at The Bank of Elk River. Additionally, people may purchase Visa gift cards for Gifts Anonymous at Klein Bank in Otsego and at any Bank of Elk River location.
Here are the Gifts Anonymous drop-off sites:
•American Legion, 525 Railroad Drive.
•Anytime Fitness, 18130 Zane St.
•The Bank of Elk River, 630 Main St. (downtown) and 846 Freeport Ave. (School Street).
•Bodywise Chiropractic Center, 19332 Highway 169.
•Central Bank, 17267 Yale St.
•Cherry Berry, 18157 Carson Court.
•Coborn’s, 19425 Evans St.
•Creative Therapy Center 657 Main St.
•Cub, 19216 Freeport Ave.
•Deneen Flanary & Associates, 221 Main St.
•Eagles Club, 824 Railroad Drive.
•Edward Jones Investments, Sandi Yeado, 305 Jackson Ave.
•Elk River Printing, 596 Dodge Ave.
•Farmers Insurance, 312 Main St.
•First National Bank of Elk River, 812 Main St. (downtown) and 19157 Freeport St. (Elk Park Center).
•Furniture & Things, 15612 Jarvis St.
•Guardian Angels by the Lake, 13439 185th Lane.
•Kemper Drug, 323 Jackson Ave.
•Lighthouse Learning Academy, 19027 Proctor Road.
•Marcus Theatres, 570 Freeport Ave.
•Menards, 19521 Evans St.
•Olde Main Eatery, 313 Jackson Ave.
•Re/Max Results, 650 Dodge Ave.
•River of Life Church, 21695 Elk Lake Road.
•St. Andrew’s Church, 566 Fourth St.
•Star News, 506 Freeport Ave.
•State Farm, 19336 Highway 169.
•Zylstra Harley Davidson, 19600 Evans St.
•Walmart, 18185 Zane St.
•Edward Jones Investments, Sandi Yeado 305 Jackson Ave.
•Bright Eye Vision Clinic, 15704 90th St.
•KleinBank, 15751 87th St. NE.
•The Bank of Elk River, 15800 88th St. NE.
•Denny’s, 9020 Quaday Ave.
•Bob 106 FM, 14443 Armstrong Blvd.