PHOTO STORY: Dowagiac Fire Department helps Toys for Tots reach record donations

Published 4:44 pm Monday, December 20, 2021

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CASSOPOLIS — Local children in need of Christmas toys will not be disappointed this year, thanks to the help of several local organizations.

In a procession of police and fire vehicles on Saturday, the Dowagiac Fire Department delivered 33 boxes of new toys and 10 bicycles to Pleasant View Church in Cassopolis for the annual Cass County Toys for Tots drive.

“This is the most [toys] that we’ve ever had,” said Cass County Toys for Tots Coordinator Danielle Phillips.  “They went above and beyond this year.”

The fire department placed boxes at various locations around town in November, as well as hosted several toy drives, including a pancake breakfast with Santa on Dec. 5. The department said it was a record year for collecting toys.

Boxes of toys flooded the downstairs of Pleasant View Church, 20290 M-60, Cassopolis, as volunteers worked to organize the toys.

After changing the way families sign up from sending out forms to hosting sign-up events, Phillips said about 160 families signed up to receive toys.

“I think this will probably be the new norm,” Phillips said, of the sign-up events. “We used to have a lot of people who didn’t show up … with the sign-ups we’re doing now, I think that people who actually need the toys, they sign up.”

Toys for Tots handed out the toys to the families on Sunday. Businesses which hosted a toy drive box included:

  • C. Wimberley Inc., 57333 M-51, Dowagiac
  • Tractor Supply, 56418 Pokagon St., Dowagiac
  • Family Fare, 56151 M-51, Dowagiac
  • Fit Stop Dowagiac, 201 S. Front St., Dowagiac
  • Ausra Equipment, 30155 Yaw St., Dowagiac
  • L.A.D.D. Inc., 300 Whitney St., Dowagiac
  • True’s Towing, 725 N. Front St., Dowagiac
  • Dollar General, 104 Park Place, Dowagiac
  • The Strand Brewery, 93415 County Road 690, Dowagiac
  • Sister Lakes Brewery, 92500 County Road 690, Dowagiac
  • TJ’s Sports Bar, 195 M-140, Watervliet
  • Hale’s True Value Hardware, 56216 M 51 S, Dowagiac
  • Dockside Dan’s, 94376 County Road 690, Dowagiac
  • Dowagiac City Hall, 241 S. Front St., Dowagiac
  • Dowagiac High School, 701 W. Prairie Ronde St.
  • Barry’s Automotive, 29034 M 62 W, Dowagiac
  • Cranky Hank’s 24992 Marcellus Hwy., Dowagiac
  • Honor Credit Union, 56337 M-51 S., Dowagiac
  • Family Dollar, 812 E. State St, Cassopolis
  • Pleasant View Church, 20290 M-60, Cassopolis
  • Cassopolis United Methodist Church, 209 S. Rowland St., Cassopolis
  • Cass District Library, 319 M-62, Cassopolis
  • Woodlands Behavioral Healthcare Network, 960 M-60, Cassopolis
  • Cass County Courthouse, 60296 M-62, Cassopolis
  • Cass County Sheriff’s Department, 321 M-62, Cassopolis
  • Circle Federal Credit Union, 1050 E. State St., Cassopolis
  • Cass County Council on Aging, 60525 Decatur Road, Cassopolis