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More than 2,000 children in Newaygo County are going to find a brighter Christmas thanks to our community’s selflessness and generous support through TrueNorth Community Services’ 68th annual Children’s Christmas Programs & Toys for Tots.

The distribution for the Children’s Christmas Programs & Toys for Tots (CCP) was December 9 to 13 at the TrueNorth Service Center in Fremont.

The atmosphere for CCP was festive over the five days, with Christmas music and volunteers helping participants select their items. Through CCP, children from disadvantaged households receive toys, games, art supplies, sporting goods, a book and a stocking stuffer in addition to essentials of two pairs of socks and mittens, gloves and a scarf or hat.

“More than 500 volunteers are pitching in on CCP, and that means a lot,” said Mike Voyt, TrueNorth Volunteer and Special Projects Coordinator. “CCP is truly a community effort that helps ensure a joyful Christmas for as many children as possible,”

The volunteers taking part in CCP contributed more than 1,000 hours. They included groups from Gerber Life Insurance Company, ChoiceOne Bank, Newaygo Middle School’s National Junior Honor Society and Project Citizen, Fremont Christian School, Trinity Fellowship of Newaygo, Fremont Nazarene Church, Wesco and Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors in addition to 56 volunteers at two Friendraisers gatherings.

TrueNorth conducts CCP in partnership with the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. CCP’s corporate sponsor is Gerber Life Insurance Co., a Western & Southern Financial Group company. CCP is funded, in part, by grants from The Gerber Foundation, the Fremont Area Community Foundation and the Keith Johnston Memorial Fund at the Fremont Area Community Foundation. Bombas also made a generous donation of socks.

“There were countless monetary and other donations for CCP,” said Mark Kraus, Community Liaison and Development Director for TrueNorth. “We’re still getting and accepting contributions.”

A month-long CCP collection drive for new and unwrapped toys and gifts had 45 drop-off sites across Newaygo County in Croton Township, Fremont, Grant, Hesperia, Newaygo and White Cloud.

Every year since 1952, TrueNorth has run CCP with the community’s help, generosity and full embrace to bring Christmas morning joy and good memories to thousands of local children.

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