For the sixth consecutive year, ELGA Credit Union will partner with the Michigan State Police in hopes of making Christmas wishes come true for less fortunate children in the community. Stuff a Blue Goose is an annual Toys for Tots campaign that will kick off Friday, December 1, at ELGA Credit Union in Burton (2303 S. Center Road).
The goal is to fill a Michigan State Police squad car, known as the Blue Goose, with toys for kids who live in the community.
“What is great about this event is that 100 percent of our donations go directly to kids in your neighborhood.” —Community Service Trooper Steven Kramer
In previous years, the car has filled countless times, and Cheryl Sclater, public relations manager for ELGA Credit Union, and one of the Stuff a Blue Goose organizers, hopes for overflowing cars once again this year. “ELGA Credit Union was thrilled to participate in the Toys for Tots program when the Michigan State Police invited us to join the campaign six years ago,” she says. “This is who we are and what we do; we want to touch the lives of people in so many ways, and to help make Christmas special for kids is so heartwarming for everyone involved. These children need a hand up, not a hand off.”
Sclater adds that the program has exceeded expectations over the years. “What started with one state police car now has grown to dozens, thanks to our generous community stepping forward every year to donate. The Toys for Tots campaign truly is a collaborative effort of so many organizations and individuals who want to help the kids in our neighborhood,” Sclater points out. “It is amazing to see the campaign grow and grow. One year, a child donated her new bicycle simply because she wanted to make another child happy at Christmas. The generosity has been overwhelming.”
At this year’s kickoff event on December 1, school choirs will perform, local radio and television personalities will visit, all local police and fire departments will be on site and activities will take place throughout the day.
Community Service Trooper Steven Kramer from the Michigan State Police encourages families to stop by throughout the day to enjoy the Toys for Tots kickoff event. “Often, the public only thinks of Michigan State troopers as law enforcement officials, but, we are real people, too,” he says with a smile. “This is a great opportunity to meet some members of the Michigan State Police and get to know them in a different capacity, not just as uniformed officers.
“And what is great about this event is that 100 percent of our donations go directly to kids in your neighborhood,” he notes.
Donations are accepted throughout the holiday season. Donation boxes will be located at all ELGA Credit Union locations as well as SageLink and Frankenmuth Credit Unions. New unwrapped toys, personal hygiene items and monetary donations are welcome.
Toys for Tots began helping families in 1947 when the Marine Corps Reserves launched the program. A few years later, the Michigan State Police started its Stuff a Blue Goose campaign to support the Marines.