Giving so others can have a better Christmas

News Photo by Jordan Spence Vietnam Veterans Chapter 583 President Wayne Trapp helps with a bake sale at Thunder Bay Credit Union in Alpena Thursday. The bake sale helped raise money for Operation Toys For Kids organized by the veterans.

ALPENA — It’s been a busy week for Vietnam vet Wayne Trapp.

He spent his time at different businesses in Alpena in order to raise money and donations for the fundraiser, Operation Toys For Kids.

Trapp is the president of the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 583 and has taken part in the fundraiser for 25 years, he said.

“We do all kinds of different things,” he said. “This is our big one.”

He said last year the group raised $108,000 for its toy and food drive. The group also does a food drive in Thanksgiving to give people in need meals.

Trapp said last year 2,000 children were provided with toys in Alpena, Montmorency, Alcona, and Presque Isle counties. He said this includes a big toy, a medium-sized toy and stocking stuffers.

Trapp served in the Marine Corp for seven years, including two tours in Vietnam. He is active in the local veteran community and he likes to find ways to help people.

“That’s what I need,” he said. “If people are in need and I can help I just help.”

St. Bernard’s Friendship Room Assistant Director Stacie Johnston said this time of year is always full of the spirit of giving.

She said there are many volunteers who like to help.

“We definitely feel the love and giving during this season,” she said. “People always want to help either as volunteers and with donations; in all those ways.”

The list of items it needs for meals changes every day, Johnston said. It serve about 100 people every night.

“We are always overwhelmed with the outpouring of help this time of year,” Johnston said.

The Friendship Room is located at 322 W. Chisholm in Alpena. Dinners are served 4-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 2:30-4 p.m. Saturday. Sunday dinners are served at Trinity Episcopal Church, 124 E. Washington St.

To make a donation for Operation Toys For Kids, headquarters is located at 2707 Pearl Road off of US-23, located on a back road behind AAA Michigan’s Alpena office.

Jordan Spence can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687.