What is Gifts for Winona?
This community-wide gift-giving program was started in 2001 by a committee of Saint Mary's University staff. Its first year, the program helped more than 1,200 people; at it’s highest, Gifts for Winona helped more than 1,840 individuals. Last year, we completed requests for 1,465 tags. Our partners include Winona Volunteer Services, the Winona Post and Winona Radio. Together, thanks to the generosity of the community, we bring holiday happiness — and the knowledge that someone cares — to our neighbors in need.
How the program works:
- Those needing help: Anyone who needs help obtaining holiday gifts for their family should apply through the human service agency they work with in the county (Habitat for Humanity, Project FINE, Winona County Community Services, Winona Senior Advocacy Program or Winona Volunteer Services). The deadline is Nov. 15. The program’s main priority is to provide gifts to children 18 years of age and younger and individuals 60 years of age and older. Families will only be able to report gift requests for family members in these age ranges.
- Organizations/groups wanting to help: Letters have been sent to churches and other groups inviting them to participate in Gifts for Winona. Details of how the program operates are included. Any organization or group that wishes to help 10 or more people should call the Gifts for Winona line at 457-8719. Sponsors have direct contact with the family or families they are helping and distribute the gifts directly.
- Individuals wanting to help: Gifts for Winona will use giving trees at: the three Severson-Sinclair gas stations, Security State Bank in Lewiston, Walmart, the Winona Public Library and the Winona Post. Trees will be going up right before Thanksgiving.
To buy a gift/gifts visit one of these locations, take as many tags off the trees as you wish, and return the gifts (wrapped) to the tree where they obtained the tags. Each tag is labeled with specific gift ideas and information. This year, the recommended amount for gifts is approximately $35 per person.
GIFTS ARE DUE BACK TO GIVING TREES ON DEC. 13 (churches and other organizations may have different deadlines.)