1,500 toys delivered to youth at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee

December 24, 2020

Generosity in action was on display on Wednesday, December 16, 2020 as Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee (BGCGM) treated 1,500 Club members with holiday gifts during their 2020 Holiday Toy Drive.

Throughout the pandemic, BGCGM has been supporting Milwaukee’s youth with safe spaces, academic support, social emotional care, nutrition, and more. This time of year, however, the needs of youth in under resourced communities extend beyond academics and everyday necessities.

Thanks to generous support from ALDI, We Energies Foundation, Meijer, Kohl’s, Husch Blackwell, First Weber Foundation, Kriete Group, Old National Bank, Guy and Louise Osborn, Badger Mutual Insurance, Packers safety Adrian Amos’ I’m Still Here Foundation, and various other group and individual donors in the community, BGCGM staff and volunteers delivered 1,500 wrapped gifts for kids aged 4-18 to more than 30 locations across Milwaukee.

“Every child deserves to unwrap a gift at the holidays, especially this year,” said BGCGM President and CEO, Kathy Thornton-Bias. “The saying, ‘it’s the thought that counts,’ is true, and the gift that each of our kids received today sends a message to them that they are thought about and cared for this holiday season. They deserve to feel special, and that’s what today was all about.”

Gifts were collected from companies and groups, as well as individuals such as Hales Corners native and current Madison resident Nathan DuPont who, for the third year in a row, organized his own “Holiday Joy Drive.” This year, Nathan raised enough money to support BGCGM’s Toy Drive with nearly 400 gifts. “I wanted to offer people an easy outlet to both give back and see how individual acts of charity can combine to create something that makes a real difference,” said Du- Pont. Homestead High School student McKenna Marotta held a toy drive as well, single-handedly collecting and wrapping more than 130 gifts for Boys & Girls Club members.

Although holiday celebrations have been modified to adhere to COVID-19 safety guidelines, Club members will open their gifts during holiday parties within their small groups over the next several days. Donors shopped BGCGM’s Amazon Wishlist, as well as a shop local wish list of items from small businesses in Milwaukee. Wrapping supplies and holiday decorations were also donated. Volunteers and BGCGM staff spent more than 170 hours wrapping and preparing the gifts before visiting Clubs to deliver the gifts to hundreds of youth.