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Operation Toys -Bomgaars brightens holidays for children

By Staff | Dec 13, 2007

SPIRIT LAKE–Visions of sugar plums are a little outdated in the 21st century when it comes to what kids dream about during the holidays.

They’ve become more playful dreams as thoughts of toys–from big to small–run through kids’ heads until they finally get to unwrap the gifts under the tree Christmas morning.

But for some those dreams don’t come true.

Bomgaars in Spirit Lake is trying to bring some of those visions to life for some of those children who won’t get any toys under the tree this year.

The Spirit Lake store, for the first time, is accepting toy donations as part of Operation Toys. The program is sponsored by Channel 9 KCAU-TV in Sioux City and the Bomgaars company and asks people to donate toys for boys and girls.

“All of my people were very receptive to the idea,” said Spirit Lake store manager Lon Noble. “They love it.”

People are asked either to purchase a toy at Bomgaars, which employees then will wrap and put in the distribution bin, or bring a wrapped toy from home to donate.

People contributing to the program, if bringing a toy not purchased at Bomgaars, also are asked to write on the gift whether it’s for a boy or girl. Childrens toys of any shape, size and color are accepted.

The deadline for donations is Saturday, Dec. 15. From the Spirit Lake store, they will be given to Upper Des Moines Opportunity Inc. and then to children.

Each Bomgaars store in the KCAU viewing area participating in the project is able to choose a local charity or organization to donate the gifts they collect.

Noble said his store selected Upper Des Moines because of its long-time connection to the organization.

“We’ve been very close to Upper Des Moines for the last 20 years,” he said.

Bomgaars, when it still was Shoppers Supply, and Upper Des Moines joined forces several years ago for a similar project for back to school shopping.

Noble said Operation Toys is another example of how his store and the Bomgaars chain can give back to their communities.

“It’s a good program,” he said. “We love the opportunity. Everyone here–most of my employees are very willing to give back to the community. They’re very excited about it.”

In fact, Noble said, his employees are the ones who found the barrel being used as the collection bin for all the toys.

Time is running out to donate toys to the project and Noble and his staff hope they have truckloads of items to take to Upper Des Moines when Operation Toys ends.

For more information, contact Bomgaars in Spirit Lake at (712) 336-2287. To donate toys, just stop in at the store just south of the junction of Highways 71 and 9 during regular business hours through Saturday.

Contact Nathan Christophel at (712) 362-2622 or editor@esthervilledailynews.com and visit our photo sharing Web site at cu.esthervilledailynews.com