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Deno's Pizzeria asks community to donate gifts for students who may be experiencing homelessness and poverty 

For the 26th consecutive year, Deno's Pizzeria will help provide gifts for students attending the Community Transitional School through its annual Christmas Angel Tree Fundraiser.

Through the fundraiser, participants will grab an angel at the restaurant, located at 4475 Lakeview Blvd., and receive a wish list of possible gifts that the 72 students would like. Deno's asks people to drop off the gifts unwrapped at the shop by Dec. 7 and they will be delivered on Dec. 8. Gift-givers are provided relevant information such as the kids' shoe and clothing sizes.PMG FILE PHOTO - Community members can return gifts to Denos Pizzeria by Dec. 8.

Kay Valentine began the program when her family bought Deno's 26 years ago after helping with a similar initiative at an insurance company she worked at previously. Valentine praises the transition school, which serves families who are homeless, in transition or in poverty-related crises. She makes donations to the school and said she would volunteer there if she didn't have a business to run.

"I love how these kids are treated. It's a very nurturing and safe learning environment," Valentine said. "This school gives them stability. Some of them don't even celebrate their birthdays or Christmas. The school makes sure that every student has an opportunity to celebrate their birthday. They make it really special. These kids are really at risk."

For those who wish to donate to the school, visit Valentine noted that the school on Northeast Killingsworth Street in Portland receives very little government funding and that donations are important to keeping it running. Valentine is appreciative of the Lake Oswego community for consistently participating in the fundraiser.

"The Lake Oswego community really rallies around it," she said.

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