Tree of Hope collection day this weekend

Toy collection for the Tree of Hope in Minnesota is slated for this Saturday, Dec. 1. Tree of Hope was started 23 years ago by Ray and Celeste Shefland, who noticed that there were many children who spent time in the hospital over the holidays. The pilots asked their aviation friends to help bring some joy to these children by bringing toys as they gathered to enjoy a potluck dinner.

Last year about 2,000 toys were collected and distributed to more than 30 hospitals across the state of Minnesota.

It doesn’t take much time to be involved in the Tree of Hope, organizers note. People collect toys for children up to ages 18, including infants. The toys come from individuals, groups of friends and organizations. They come as one or two toys or a plane loads of toys. These toys can be delivered to the collection sites listed below or, if it is preferred, a monetary donation may be sent prior to the collection date. Toys should be something that the child can use while in the hospital, such as games, puzzles, books, crafts, dolls, trucks/cars, DVDs, handheld games, gift cards to download music, etc.

Bring new unwrapped toys to the drop off site, where the toys are sorted, packed up and sent off to hospitals all across the state. All expenses are covered by the volunteers, so all donations go to the children.

For more information: Credit Card donations can be made through this site also.

  • Collection Date: Saturday, Dec 1, 2012, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Snow date: Dec. 2) at Maple Lake Airport. Refreshments served
  • For questions or assistance in delivering toys, please contact either: Elaine Morrow H: 952-955-2802, Cell 952-913-2356, E-mail: or Howie and Deb Klier Home: 952-898-5735, Cell: 612-802-8441, E-mail:
  • Maple Lake Airport: 320-963-5094
  • Wright Aero, Maple Lake Mn – seven miles west of Buffalo, MN

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