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North Trail Elementary School Giving Tree stands tall

North Trail Elementary School students and staff are getting that holiday giving spirit, and just in time, too.

From now through Friday, Dec. 14, North Trail Elementary will collect gifts of toys for Farmington's Toys for Town gift drive through its new project, the Giving Tree. Set up in the school lobby, the tree serves as the drop-off point for any toys students or staff would like to donate.

"There are already toys under the tree," NTES family support worker Char Anderson said Monday. "The tree was just put up last week, and when I came in this morning, there were already about 40 gifts under the tree, so I think it's going to be successful."

At least, Anderson hopes so. As part of her job, Anderson works with North Trail families who struggle financially, and she knows there are a few out there who could use some help this holiday season. To date, she can think of at least a dozen families from the school who she has referred to the Toys for Town program this year.

"I just got a call today from a family who needed help," she said Monday. "Of all of the elementaries, North Trail is the one with the least number of families in need. If we have 12 in our school, there are a few others in the district that have at least triple the need."

That's why she's working with Parent-Teacher Partnership volunteer Melissa Jones to set up the Giving Tree.

"There are a lot of needy families out there, and a lot of programs are already done taking families. (Toys for Town) is a great program. It's local. I think people like to donate locally, when they know it's their neighbors and the kids from their families who are receiving those gifts," Anderson said.

In addition, North Trail Elementary is accepting food donations, which will be given to the Farmington Food Shelf.

Michelle Leonard

Michelle Leonard joined the Woodbury Bulletin staff in November, 2014, after 14 years covering news for the Bulletin's sister publication, the Farmington Rosemount Independent Town Pages.  Michelle earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications: News-Editorial from Mankato State University in 1991. She is an active member of the American Legion Auxiliary Clifford Larson Unit 189 of Farmington, and served as the 2014-15 Third District President to the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Minnesota. Michelle is also the volunteer coordinator for the Minnesota Newspaper Museum which is open annually during the Minnesota State Fair. She has earned Minnesota Newspaper Association awards in Investigative Reporting, Local News Coverage, Feature Photography and Column Writing. 

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