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Merrill Christmas charity drive complete success, say sponsors


MERRILL, Wis. (WSAU) - Merrill's Christmas Spirit Appeal is completed and organizers say the program has been a complete success.

The program is a full outreach of Lincoln County churches and charitable organizations, based around Saint Vincent de Paul's in Merrill. Merrill fire captain Mike Drury says families took tags from trees around the area and helped fulfil Christmas wishes for children. "The recommended price for each kid was around 35 dollars, but some people donated quite a bit more than that."

Drury says donations not only concluded toys, but also basic supplies for families such as toiletries, towels, bedding and other items. A few beds were donated as well after the fire department found out some kids weren't sleeping in beds in the homes, and at least one homeless person was given help and found a place to live after the department got word they'd been sleeping nights in a church lobby.

Officials says around 250 families and 700 kids were helped this year. The total amount donated is not known, due to the anonymous nature of the program, but if the average 35 dollar donation was reached, that's around 25-thousand dollars in total.