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Panera Bread collects over 1100 gifts for The Place Holiday House
Panera toys
Panera Bread’s Shannon Taylor and Jackie Nowetner stand with over 1100 gifts collected by the restaurant and donated to The Place Holiday House. (photo courtesy of Shannon Taylor)

This week, representatives from Panera Bread dropped off over 1100 gifts that were collected for The Place Holiday House through gift drives at the restaurant’s Dawsonville and Cumming locations. 

The toy drive officially kicked off in November with both the Dawsonville and Cumming Panera Bread locations collecting toys for those in need in the community. The Dawsonville Panera Bread hosted a “Light the Night” event on Nov. 19, lighting up the cafe as a way to spread holiday spirit and draw people in to raise awareness for the fundraiser. 

When the drive began, Panera Bread operators and staff set a lofty goal of collecting 1000 toys through the fundraiser. Now, Director of Marketing Shannon Taylor said that they have not only met but exceeded the goal that they set. 

“We are so thrilled to announce that our patrons and staff donated over 1100 gifts to The Place Holiday House 2021,” Taylor said. “We surpassed our goal of collecting 1000 gifts between the Dawsonville and Cumming locations and are so excited to help give back to the community, and to partner with such a great local community to do so.” 

The Place Holiday House aims to provide gifts to families in the community who need a little extra help at Christmas time. Local nonprofit The Place, which has locations in both Forsyth and Dawson, collects toy donations throughout November and the first part of December, and then the parents who are participating in the program are given the chance to come “shop” and pick out presents for their children. 

For more information about The Place Holiday House, go to