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Helping Hands partnership raises $40,000 for children

Celebrating the Helping Hands donation of $40,000 toward Christmas toys for needy children are, from left, Bob Scott, of Lake Area United Way; Tom DeGiulio, board chair of The Salvation Army; Brad Vosberg, of First Midwest Bank; Major Russell Sjögren, of The Salvation Army; Tom Keilman, of BP; Rick Calinski, of NIPSCO; Randy Palmateer, of the Northwest Indiana Building and Construction Trades Council; Joe Grzymski, of the BP Fire Department; and Calvin Bellamy, of Krieg DeVault.

Helping Hands is asking for help this holiday season.

Numerous groups have joined forces to assist the nonprofit organization Helping Hands in its goal to help needy families in Northwest Indiana.

They want to make sure every child has toys to open at Christmas. They are asking people in the communities and groups to make a donation, whether it be a new/unopened toy or a monetary amount to the Helping Hands campaign.

An average of about $15,000 is donated annually to gift cards to be donated to Sojourner Truth House in Gary, St. Joseph Carmelite Home in East Chicago, Center for Possibilities in Hobart and The Rainbow Ark Shelter in Gary.

Many toys are also donated from union contractors.

All proceeds collected will be used for Northwest Indiana families in need. Checks can be made payable to Helping Hands, NWI Building & Construction Trades Council, 6570 Ameriplex Drive, Portage, Indiana 46368.

Toys can be dropped off at the the Ameriplex location or Matrix NAC, 4508 Columbia Ave., Hammond, Indiana 46327. 

The toys are distributed right before Christmas so all donations need to be in by Dec. 12. Any donations made after that date will be saved for next year's campaign. For information, call Jessica at the building trades office at 219-762-2951.

Helping Hands includes the Northwest Indiana Building & Construction Trades Council, affiliated local unions, union contractors, Lake County Sheriff's Department, Krieg & Devault, the cities of Gary and Hammond, Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce, Lake County Economic Alliance, Lake County Commissioners Office, Construction Advancement Foundation, NIPSCO, BP, Merrillville-Ross Township and First Midwest Bank.

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Community Coordinator

Annette is Community Coordinator for The Times. She has been with the paper for two decades. A resident of Hobart, she graduated from Purdue University with degrees in English and German.