KENT COUNTY, Mich. — A West Michigan man is spending over $12,000 to bring Christmas to the kids of Kent County. Jack Cooper has been donating to Toys for Tots over the last five years, which he says has been an honor.

“If I could run my arm down the shelf and dump them (presents) all in a cart, I would,” he laughed.

Cooper initially started by buying $8,000 worth of toys for donation. He said the amount given has raised each year, now hitting over $12,000. He said seeking advice from, “good financial people,” enables him to give such large sums.

Cooper’s Toys for Tots team is comprised of community members from all over Kent County and includes kids, families and retired servicemen. The group searched on Tuesday for toys for children ages 8-12.

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Cooper, who grew up in Kent County and has lived here all his life said he believes giving back to the community is the right thing to do.

“The kids in Grand Rapids, they need help,” he said. “It’s just a nice warm feeling that I’m helping somebody, making some kids happy that wouldn’t normally get a lot of toys.”

The group saw success last year, filling 27 carts as well as a van. Cooper estimated around 3,000 children to shop for per each Toys for Tots location. There are four Kent County locations.

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For more information on Toys for Tots and local drop-off centers, click here.

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