Volunteer bell ringers Sydney Munds, left, and Tiffany Quade, employees from Associated Bank in Eagle River, were in front of Nelson’s Ace Hardware in Eagle River Saturday, raising funds for The Salvation Army. —Staff Photo By GARY RIDDERBUSCH
Volunteer bell ringers Sydney Munds, left, and Tiffany Quade, employees from Associated Bank in Eagle River, were in front of Nelson’s Ace Hardware in Eagle River Saturday, raising funds for The Salvation Army. —Staff Photo By GARY RIDDERBUSCH
Local service groups in and around the Eagle River area are continuing to keep their good faith in the community this holiday season.

Residents interested in contributing to charitable service groups during the holiday season have several opportunities to do so through programs sponsored by local businesses, banks and churches throughout the community.

The Salvation Army and Northland Pines National Honor Society are sponsoring their annual Christmas toy giveaway to help provide new toys for area children ages newborn to 18 years old.

The toy program has numerous drop-off locations throughout the area, including businesses and area banks.

Toy donors should obtain a Share-a-Heart tag from a participating location and drop off their donation by Thursday, Dec.12.

Last year, the program served 337 children and this year’s number is anticipated to be close to 350, said Kathy Holtorp, program coordinator.

“We hope community members will share in the spirit of giving this Christmas and brighten the eyes of a child in need Christmas morning,” she said. “For many children, these are the only toys they will receive.”

Area businesses with drop-off boxes in their lobbies for donations of new, unwrapped toys include Ascension Eagle River Hospital, Ascension Health Care-Eagle River, Auto Value, Demmer Memorial Library (Three Lakes), Dollar General (Eagle River and St. Germain), Dollar Tree, Eagle Craft & Hobby, Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce, Eagle River Recreation Arena, Grandma’s Toy Box, Health in Motion, Land O’ Lakes Public Library, Nelson’s Ace Hardware, Northern Glass & Stone, Northwoods Children’s Museum, Olson Memorial Library (Eagle River), Parsons, Pick ’n Save, Plum Lake Library (Sayner), St. Germain Home Town Pharmacy, Synergy Salon & Spa, The Blank Canvas, Trig’s, Walgreen’s, Walkabout Paddle & Apparel, WRJO-WERL Radio Station, Associated Bank, BMO Harris Bank, Great North Bank of Eagle River, Incredible Bank, MBank (Eagle River and St. Germain), Nicolet National Bank, Peoples State Bank, RIPCO Credit Union, U.S. Bank, Abundant Life Church, Pioneer Lake Lutheran Church, St. Germain Evangelical Free Church, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, St. Mary of the Snows Anglican Church, Northland Pines Elementary School, (Eagle River, Land O’ Lakes and St. Germain), Northland Pines High School (Eagle River), Northland Pines Middle School (Eagle River, Land O’ Lakes and St. Germain), Northland Pines Montessori School (St. Germain), Northland Pines SOAR Charter Middle School (Land O’ Lakes), Northland Pines SOAR Charter High School (Eagle River), and Northland Pines Wellness Center.



Red Kettle campaign

The Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle campaign is also underway. At designated times, bell ringers with the familiar red kettles are at Trig’s, Pick ’n Save, Nelson’s Ace Hardware and Three Lakes Town Market to raise funds for The Salvation Army. 

Many shifts are still available for volunteer bell ringers, and the season will be extended until Dec. 24, according to Holtorp. To schedule a shift, sign up at savilas.org or contact Holtorp at (715) 617-2179.

“We are in desperate need of more bell ringers due to considerably low numbers this year,” said Holtorp. “Typically they are two-hour shifts Monday through Saturday.”

Last year, the campaign raised $54,658 and out of that, $47,006 was direct financial assistance for local residents with utilities, rent, lodging and medications. 

“That money was used directly to help people in crisis who needed a little financial help,” said Holtorp.

In addition, donations may be mailed to the Vilas County Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1226, Eagle River, WI 54521 (note funds for Vilas County account).



Warm The Children


The Vilas County News-Review is conducting its annual Warm The Children program through which new winter clothing and boots are purchased for qualifying area children.

Using the coupon in the newspaper, donations may be sent to the News-Review at P.O. Box 1929, Eagle River, WI 54521, or taken to the newspaper’s office at 425 W. Mill St. in Eagle River. Donations may also be made online at vcnewsreview.com.

Glik’s supports Warm The Children by offering a 25% discount on all regularly priced clothing for families in the program.



Food pantry help

In addition to supporting the toy program, IncredibleBank collects both food items and money for the Vilas Food Pantry year round.

“There are so many unique needs in this area, and we all need to step up and help in any way we can,” said IncredibleBank Market Manager Nancy Schuller. 

Schuller noted that a number of the bank’s employees are volunteer shoppers for the Warm The Children program and bell ringers for The Salvation Army.

Trig’s and Pick ’n Save in Eagle River provide donation bins to support the Vilas Food Pantry and the Humane Society of Vilas County year-round.