IRONWOOD, Mich. (WLUC) - 12 years ago, Gogebic County got its Christmas wish granted. Santa's Headquarters came to Ironwood to provide toys for needy kids in the area.
Each year, hundreds of people in Gogebic County help provide toys for needy families to put under their Christmas trees.
"There's hundreds of individual people, hundreds of civic groups, hundreds of just everything, and we all work together to make this toy distribution happen," says Jim Mildren, a member of Santa’s Headquarters leadership group.
About two dozen businesses set up trees at their offices where people can come pick a tag with a child's age and gender to buy toys, and then those presents are collected and brought back to the Ironwood Memorial Building to be sorted.
"We sort the larger gifts by age and then we have games and toiletries, blankets, hats, mittens, jackets, books, stocking stuffers, all of that stuff," says Erin Ross, another member of Santa’s Headquarters leadership group.
And this year, an Upper Peninsula wide grant from the Molina Foundation in California will give children a lot more books than in the past.
"We're really excited to have those this year, which we don't always have a lot of books for them to choose, but each family will be able to pick pretty much as many books as they'd like," Ross exclaims.
Last year, Santa's Headquarters gave presents to more than 400 children, and the project is hoping to do the same this year.
"I just love working with this project. It's so fulfilling to me to be able to help families out when they really are in need, especially the kids at Christmastime," explains Ross.
“Yay for Christmas! Yay for people giving! Yay for all of this fun, ya know! It's a glorious time of year, it's the best!" exclaims Mildren.
Santa's Headquarters will distribute all the gifts on December 6 and 7.