It may be early, but, it's never too early to be thinking about those in need our area, and the fact that the holiday season is fast approaching. We hear it all throughout the season, "Tis the season for giving" and Toys for Tots helps out with the giving end.

Toys for Tots of Steele County has been in existence for more than 30 years and operated within the National US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program that began in 1947. That's 71 years of making sure that every child gets a toy at Christmas. Amazing. Almost brings a tear to your eye when you think about all the children they have helped, and in our area.

Applications are now available in Steele County at the following locations:

  • Blooming Prairie Public Library
  • Ellendale, Lerberg's Foods and Ellendale Food Shelf
  • First National Bank of Hope
  • Medford City Hall
  • Churches in Steele County
  • Minnesota Prairie Alliance
  • Owatonna Public Library
  • Salvation Army
  • Steele County Foodhself and Clothesline
  • Steele County Public Health
  • Steele County Employment Services

Parents or guardians must complete an application and leave it at Steele County Shelf & Clothesline, put it in the drop box at Minnesota Prairie Alliance, or mail it to PO Box 199, Owatonna, MN 55060. Emailed applications will not be accepted. Application deadline for the Family to Family food card and toys is November 14th, any applications received after then will only qualify to receive toys. Parents or guardians will select toys for children ages 0-15 in December.

In Rice County, the deadline to sign up is November 30th. You can get more information about Rice County's program here.

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