Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Iron County giving tree trimmed to help collect Christmas donations

HURLEY - Several local groups are partnering together to help provide Christmas gifts for those young people in Iron County in need.

Northern Iron County Engaged Residents - along with the city of Hurley and the Iron County Human Services Department - have organized a giving tree where people can find out what gifts to donate.

"Children in Iron County need Christmas gifts and this year has been difficult for many families. What are the youth asking for? Jeans, leggings, T-shirts and hats, gloves and socks, as well as a need for bathroom essentials has also been reported," NICER spokesperson Kelly Traczyk said in a news release.

The giving tree is located outside Hurley City Hall on Fifth Avenue. Those interested in participating in the collection effort can take a card from the tree listing a child's age, gender and what they would like for Christmas. People can then fulfill the Christmas wishes and return the new, unopened and unwrapped gifts to drop-off locations at the Hurley Police Department or at the Iron County Human Services Department in the county courthouse during business hours.

The gifts need to be returned by Dec. 15, according to Traczyk, to ensure they can be distributed in time for Christmas.

The proceeds from the tree are part of the Community Cares program that provides Christmas gifts to Iron County kids in need. In past years, county employees have organized an in-house fundraiser during the county's holiday party to support the Community Cares program but the pandemic has complicated that.

"Due to COVID, that had to be canceled while the need became even greater," Traczyk said, noting how touched she was to see the simple requests kids were making. "Please, if you are able to ... give a gift to a local child in need."

Those interested in helping can also provide donations that will go to the effort, with checks made out to NICER and Giving Tree in the subject line. Traczyk said they can be mailed to 13 No. 4 Road, Montreal, WI 54550.

For more information on the giving tree collection effort, contact Traczyk at kellytraczyk@ or Human Services Financial Manager Dianne Schmidtke 715-561-3636 ext. 2128.