Gifts for Winona helped 1,560


From: Deb Nahrgang

On behalf of the Saint Mary's University Gifts for Winona partners

Some of the packages were heavy; we guessed they were likely a microwave or a set of cookware. Others were light; we saw dozens of gift cards for groceries. Some were big; it was hard to disguise a bicycle. Others were tiny "” small enough to be a new pair of earrings.

No matter what the shape or size, every present "” distributed through Saint Mary's University Gifts for Winona "” was purchased and wrapped with care. Many individuals tenderly wrote special Christmas blessings to their anonymous gift recipients. And though you may not have seen it, many children beamed with happiness at the sight of their presents; though you may not have heard it, hundreds of heartfelt "thank-yous" were said.

Because of your generosity, the Saint Mary's University Gifts for Winona program brought some holiday joy to 1,560 people. Because you care, no one walked away empty-handed!

A huge thank you goes to:

" the program's additional partners, United Way of the Greater Winona Area, Wells Fargo Bank, Winona Radio, Winona Post and Winona Volunteer Services;

" the many shoppers, wrappers, data entry volunteers, sorters and organizers, who put in long nights for a cause they believe in;

" the many sponsoring organizations who helped groups of 10 or more;

" every individual who took a tag off of a tree;

" area businesses for their donations (including Fleet Farm for donating hundreds of huge orange bags);

" the Sinclair stations, Wells Fargo banks, the Winona Public Library, Scrapper's Haven and Security State Bank for sponsoring giving trees;

" ShopKo and Kmart for allowing us to come into their stores during a very hectic shopping season;

" referral agencies who helped our cause;

" Minnesota State College-Southeast Technical for allowing us to take over the Tandeski Center for one of the gift distributions;

" Several generous donors including the Winona Community Foundation, the Slaggie Foundation and the Investor's Club;

" and the area media for helping spread the word about this program and how to help.

We couldn't have done it without you. The spirit of the season is alive in Winona. The outpouring of generosity was amazing. We're so proud to be part of such a caring community.


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