Program has been spreading joy since 1970 in Elk River and Otsego

by Joni Astrup

Associate Editor

Since 1970, Gifts Anonymous has been spreading joy by helping families in need provide Christmas gifts for their children.

Now another season is beginning. Barrels where new, unwrapped gifts for children from birth to age 18 can be donated are being placed at locations in Elk River and Otsego (see list of sites below). Barrels will be put out on Sunday, Nov. 21.

The deadline to donate gifts is Thursday, Dec. 16. Barrels will be picked up Friday, Dec. 17, so organizers can set up for the distribution event on Saturday, Dec. 18.

“We again anticipate our need to be high based on preliminary discussions with the school social workers, CAER food shelf and county social workers,” said Jessica Stockamp, Gifts Anonymous president.

Cash donations are also being accepted at The Bank of Elk River under an account titled Otsego Lions — GA Account No. 135829.

In 2020, Gifts Anonymous served 526 children from 206 families as well as more than 100 senior citizens.

People must live in Otsego or Elk River to apply for Gifts Anonymous and are required to provide certain documentation. People can apply online at by Friday, Dec. 17.

Where to drop off gifts

Elk River

ABRA Auto Body, 11175 183rd Circle

Avalon Salon, 706 Main St.

American Legion, 525 Railroad Drive

Animal and Exotic Wellness Center, 19276 Evans St.

Broadway Bar and Pizza, 16754 Highway 10

Christine’s Hallmark, 19186 Freeport St.

Coborn’s, 19425 Evans St.

Cub Foods, 19216 Freeport St.

Distinctive Iron, 15970 Jarvis St.

Elk River Senior Activity Center, 1000 School St.

Ellie’s Home Team - Keller Williams, 953 Fourth St.

First Bank, 812 Main St. and 19157 Freeport St.

First Step Preschool, 555 Railroad Drive

Handke Center, 1170 Main St.

HealthSource Chiropractic of Elk River, 804 Freeport Ave., Suite C

Kemper Drug, 323 Jackson Ave.

Menards, 19521 Evans St.

Olde Main Eatery, 313 Jackson Ave.

P.S... Dance, 251 Eighth St.

Perpetual Health Alliance (The Pearl), 815 Highway 10

Remax, 650 Dodge Ave. #2

St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, 566 Fourth St.

State Farm-Wayne Swart Agency, 19336 Highway 169

Sunshine Depot, 701 Main St.

T-Mobile, 18220 Zane St.

Takeoff Nutrition, 586 Dodge Ave.

The Bank of Elk River, 630 Main St. and 846 Freeport Ave.

Union Church, 1118 Fourth St.

Walmart, 18185 Zane St.

YMCA, 13337 Business Center Drive


Boondox, 9100 Park Ave.

City of Otsego - Prairie Center, 8899 Nashua Ave.

Coborn’s, 15700 88th St.

Denny’s, 9020 Quaday Ave.

Drake O’Neill’s Irish American Pub, 9125 Quaday Ave., No. 108

Edward Jones, 9175 Quaday Ave., Suite 109

Healing Hands Family Chiropractic, 9125 Quaday Ave., Suite 102

Holiday Inn and Waterpark, 9200 Quaday Ave.

Pour Wine Bar and Bistro, 15704 90th St.

The Bank of Elk River, 15800 88th St.

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