Dec. 6—The Free Press
Mankato Toys for Tots is accepting online registrations for holiday gifts for youths in Blue Earth, Nicollet, Waseca and Le Sueur counties.
Families may sign up for the donations for children — infants through age 14 — by going to: mankato-mn.toysfortots.org. Registrations will be accepted until noon Dec. 15.
Gifts will be distributed to registered families between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 18 at the National Guard armory, 100 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
Mask must be worn. Organizers advise parents to attend without their children.
Mankato Marine Corps League has sponsored Mankato's Toys for Tots program since the fall of 2004. Each year, The Marine Toys for Tots Foundation relies on donations from the public and local sponsors to collect new and unwrapped toys. Cash and gift cards donations will be used to purchase toys.
For information on how and where to donate, go to: mankato-mn.toysfortots.org/local-coordinator-sites/lco-sites.
App assists public safety services
North Mankato Public Safety Services has access to a smartphone app that can help first responders better assist community members who need their services.
The Vitals App helps identify how to better respond to individuals with specific needs. Community members determine what information they want to provide, such as their medical information, critical needs, behavior triggers, preferred de-escalation techniques, code words or a calming message.
The information is temporarily shared with first responders, who are fully trained in how to use the app, when anyone wearing a Vitals Bluetooth device is within 80 feet of them.
The service, made possible through a partnership between North Mankato Public Safety and Vitals Aware Services, is recommended for those with invisible and visible conditions and disabilities, older adults, and parents, guardians or caregivers of vulnerable individuals.
To help make the service more accessible, first-time subscribers will receive a Bluetooth device at no cost. A monthly cost is associated with the service. For more information, contact staff at 387-8766.
Hometown Holiday Lights kicks off
North Mankato's annual tour of residences decorated homes kicks off today.
Hometown Holiday Lights tour maps will be available 6-7 p.m. today in the parking lot at North Mankato Taylor Library, 1001 Belgrade Ave. Maps and cookies will be brought out to participants' vehicles.
After completing the tour, participants may drop off their maps in a book drop at the library.
Online maps will be available to download from the library's Facebook page.
Participants may vote for their favorite house or group of houses through Dec. 26. Winners will be announced Dec. 27.
Holiday Sharing Tree
Taylor Library also is the site of a Holiday Sharing Tree display through Sunday. The program provides holiday gift cards for the community's residents who are in need.
Participants in the 36th Holiday Sharing Tree program may stop by the library's tree or at any participating site to pick up envelopes that includes information on how to donate gift cards to the program.
The cards must be returned to tree sites by 5 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, call 345-5120 or go to: www.holidaysharingtree.org.