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For weeks, we have been asking you to contribute to the Wisconsin State Journal Empty Stocking Club so every needy child will have at least one new Christmas gift this season.

Now, your generosity to the Empty Stocking Club is going to be translated into the reality of all those new gifts as the annual Empty Stocking Club Holiday Toy Depot will be open Tuesday and Wednesday at the Alliant Energy Center.

According to Empty Stocking Club coordinator Rhonda Reese, toys for about 10,000 area children will be distributed during the two-day event.

Parents have already received vouchers they will be able to exchange for gifts. Each parent will choose from a large variety of possible gifts, wrap the presents at home, and present them to the children at Christmas. No child need know he or she is a recipient of “charity.”

Trucks and volunteers from Target stores will arrive Monday to unload the gifts. Dozens of other volunteers from the State Journal, Target and from a number of area service clubs will staff the depot.

Parents will choose from an assortment of dolls, toy trucks, games, even digital music players (they will fit in stockings). These are all new, first-quality gifts, not leftovers.

By the time the depot closes Wednesday afternoon, the volunteers will be exhausted, but it will be the satisfied exhaustion of knowing they have helped make the Christmas season a little happier for thousands of children.

You will know that, too. Your tax-deductible gifts to the Empty Stocking Club make this work possible. Everyone who gives will see his or her name printed in the donation lists the newspaper continues to publish most days.

We still need your help. Toys get more expensive each year and, while statistics say the economy is getting better, we all know that times are difficult, especially for the poor. So, again, we still need your help.

You may make your gift online at http://www.emptystockingclub.com or mail it to:

The Empty Stocking Club

Wisconsin State Journal

Box 8056

Madison, WI 53708

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