St. Paul schools program hosting toy, coat, blanket drive

A St. Paul Public Schools program has launched a toy and gift drive for families this holiday season.

SPPS said Project REACH is looking for items to be dropped off unwrapped at their office, located at 1021 Marion Street in St. Paul. Parents and guardians will then be able to choose from the donated gifts to give their children over winter break.

Gift ideas include Lego sets, board games, puzzles, multicultural dolls, art supplies, sports equipment, educational toys, electronics and gift cards to restaurants or retailers. The program also has Amazon and Target wish lists.

"We started the gift drive because this is such a hard time of the year for people, and buying a gift for your child is a luxury for so many families," Project REACH supervisor Heather Alden said. "This new program offers a way for families experiencing homelessness to shop for their child for free. We hope to get 1,500 items so every child we serve can receive two gifts this holiday season."

The program is also accepting new coats and blankets through Jan. 14. Any sizes will be accepted and can be dropped off at the same office as the gifts.

Project REACH was launched in 1997 and serves between 1,000 and 2,000 children each year.