The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is accepting donations to its annual "Stuff a Truck" toy drive.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is accepting donations to its annual "Stuff a Truck" toy drive.

The second annual ‘Stuff-a-Truck’ drive from the Michigan DNR is happening now through December 19. Here’s how you can help.

The holiday season is a time to give back, and one organization pitching in for 2020 is the Michigan DNR, whose ‘Stuff-a-Truck’ series of toy collection events has been growing in recent years.

This year’s events are taking place across the state, from Detroit all the way up to Gaylord and Clare.

The goal for each event is simple: to collect enough toys to stuff the back of a patrol truck, ensuring that as many kids are able to enjoy the magic of the season as possible.

In Detroit, donations will be given to the Detroit Police Department’s Sergeant Santa Program. The event has become a growing tradition in the Motor City, as conservation officers doubled the number of families receiving donations from 2018 to 2019.

Two locations have been certified as socially distanced drop-off hubs for 2020 in Detroit, according to Lt. Todd Szyska, a DNR law enforcement supervisor in Detroit.

“We are honored to work with our brothers and sisters in the Detroit Police Department for this noble cause,” Szyska said. “Last year was very successful and we hope to see the same contributions.”

During the events, Michigan Conservation Officers will be collecting new toys in their original packaging, free from any wrapping or decorations.

The DNR hosted its first group of events this past month at the Big Lots in Taylor.

Four other socially distanced locations are currently accepting toys at the following times and locations:

Location: Belle Isle Park Office, 99 Pleasure Drive in Detroit
Dates: Now through Dec. 18
Times: Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: DNR Outdoor Adventure Center, 1801 Atwater Street, Detroit
Dates: Saturday, Dec. 12, and Saturday, Dec. 19
Time: From 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day.

Location: Jay’s Sporting Goods in Gaylord, 1151 S. Otsego Ave.
Dates: Dec. 7– Dec. 13
Times: Drop-off is available during normal business hours, which can be found here.

Location: Jay’s Sporting Goods in Clare, 8800 S. Clare Avenue
Dates: Dec. 7-Dec. 13
Times: During store hours, which can be found here.

Mary Ann Luther, manager at the Big Lots located in Taylor, and Michigan DNR Conservation Officer Keven Luther stand with the two bins of toys that were collected at the Big Lots in Taylor from Nov. 26-29. Local conservation officers are collecting toys to donate to the Detroit Sergeant Santa Program.

As a bonus, those who donate a toy at the DNR’s Outdoor Adventure Center will receive a free family four-pack for admission once the center reopens, provided they include their name, phone number, and email address with their donations.

Supporters will also be entered in a contest for a free family exclusive experience at the center.

The goal is to stuff each truck with enough toys to make as many kids as happy as possible during challenging times.

“This year has been exceptionally difficult for our community, and we want to do everything we can to make sure that every child in Detroit has a wonderful Christmas,” Szyska said.