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Michigan State Police’s Stuff a Blue Goose is today in Alpena

News File Photo Michigan State Police troopers add to the already full rear compartment of a State Police cruiser during a Stuff a Blue Goose event in Alpena in 2018.

ALPENA — The annual tradition of Stuff a Blue Goose, an event during which police collect new toys and non-perishable food products in blue Michigan State Police patrol cars, happens from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today in front of the Alpena Walmart.

The Michigan State Police-Alpena Post hosts the event and troopers will be stationed with the vehicles and collect the items for the Salvation Army, which will take all donations and give them to local families in need of toys and food for Christmas.

“Holidays are supposed to be a great time,” State Police Trooper Jason Kunath said. “And, when people are in need and they can’t give their family everything they want, it’s nice that people — the community — steps forward. They’re able to make those donations to make the holidays better for other people.”

The Salvation Army will also have one of its famed red kettles present to collect monetary donations.

According to the Salvation Army, last year’s Alpena Stuff a Blue Goose garnered 555 food products, 750 unwrapped toys, 11 personal care items, and $2,585.

Maj. Prezza Morrison, corps officer and pastor of the Alpena Salvation Army, said she is always happy to see State Police support the local community.

“They really have a heart for the community,” Morrison said. “And they do a lot for the community, not only for the Salvation Army but other agencies and organizations. So it’s good to see that they do care, and they are reaching out to people in need.”

Morrison said that toys donated will stay at the chapel location until distribution days, during which parents who applied for items can come in and pick out the toys their children want.

She said that, before, specific toys that children requested were given to families, but that caused issues, such as variants of toys that the child already had given to the parents or the child changed what he or she liked between his or her family’s application and Christmas.

“Now, parents are coming in, they’re choosing the gift that they would like to have for their child, and it fits their child,” Morrison said. “Because, again, by the time they even do an application, maybe in October or November, things have changed with the child.”

Today’s event is not the only Blue Goose event the Alpena Post will host. Troopers will also accept donations of toys, non-perishable food items, and funds at the Rogers City Family Fare from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday and at Kris Mart in Lincoln from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday.

Both Morrison and Kunath said that previous Alpena Stuff a Blue Goose events had stormy weather. According to the National Weather Service, today has a 10% chance of snow before 7 a.m., but the rest of the day will become mostly sunny with a high of 37 degrees.

IF YOU GO

∫ WHAT: Stuff a Blue Goose

∫ WHEN: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today

∫ WHERE: Alpena Walmart, 1180 M-32, Alpena

∫ INFO: Michigan State Police-Alpena Post troopers will be at Walmart to collect toys and non-perishable food products in State Police cruisers for those in need. All donations go to the Alpena Salvation Army for families in the area.

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