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The Toys for Joy Story

Established 1986

It started by collecting toys for the "Christmas Committee" of Anoka, MN and helped with their distribution. The Christmas Committee's responsibility was to provide food for those in need during the Holiday. There are countless numbers of volunteers from churches, clubs and individuals that were involved with that task and challenges every year with required paper work, collection of donated food and organization of the actual distribution of gifts and food. Association members soon realized that the number of gifts items collected were not sufficient to reach all the children of these families. They began raising funds to assist in this area through a variety of fundraisers, such as a golf tournament in the Spring, an annual auction in the fall, and parties, etc. in the various REALTOR® offices.


Upcoming Event Forms

Emergency Distribution
First come first serve
Limited to 50 families


Applications for eligible Anoka County residents are available on the Christmas Committee website. Anyone who needs help should pick one up at their local food shelf, WIC/NAP site, Anoka County Income Maintenance, or at most helping agencies located at the Anoka County Human Services Center in Blaine.

All applications are screened by a statewide computer program to be sure applicants are only served by one program.

Following approval, all applicants are notified via appointment postcard and assigned a date and time to come to the Anoka Amory where they choose toys & stocking stuffers for their children and receive other miscellaneous items and food for their holiday meal. 

Michael Hunstad
Toys for Joy Committee Chair

Renee Cole
SPAAR Toys for Joy Committee
Education & Charitable Development Coordinator

Association members go on a "shopping day" to purchase toys and gift items from local retailers. Tens of thousand of dollars are raised and used during this shopping spree to brighten the lives of children up to the age of 18. Toys and food are also collected from various area businesses that are supplied with a collection barrel/box. Several school districts, in the Anoka area, hold food drives & raise money, with many of the students assisting with sorting of gifts and boxing of food in preparation for this distribution. Each year, Toys For Joy has touched the lives of well over 1000 families with approximately 4000 children. All of these efforts lead to the primary purpose and activity of Toys For Joy, that being the annual Christmas distribution event that takes place at the Anoka Armory at 408 Main Street, Anoka, MN in December. The National Guard generously donates the Armory building for use in a controlled distribution of donations.

All money raised through the Toys For Joy program stays in Anoka County and there are no overhead costs to this program as it operates as a part of the St. Paul Area Association of REALTORS® with services volunteered and materials either donated or loaned to the organization.

Volunteer Opportunities

Toys for Joy welcomes donations of food, toys, cash and time. To take advantage of these volunteer opportunities or to arrange for your organization to become a collection site, contact Renee Cole

All checks may be sent to: 

Toys For Joy
In care of the St. Paul Area Association of REALTORS® 
3200 Main Street, Suite 270
Coon Rapids, MN 55433


325 Roselawn Avenue East, St. Paul, MN 55117 | 651.776.6000