Can you help make Christmas a little more cheerful for area families in need? Contribute toys or make financial donations to the Unity Center's 25 Cent Toys for Girls and Boys event.

Once again, the elves at The Unity Center in West Linn are working to ensure that area children have presents under the tree. For the seventh year in a row, the center will host its 25 Cent Toys for Girls and Boys event and is currently collecting donations of toys from community residents and businesses. The center will become a Santa's workshop the afternoon of Dec. 17, where participating parents will be invited to pick out stocking stuffers, toys, books, games and more for their children for a quarter each.

The annual event offers a chance for low-income parents to "shop" for presents for their children at a cost of just 25 cents per gift. The center works with three area primary schools and Clackamas County Head Start to identify families in need of gifting assistance. This year the center expects to serve more than 40 families with one to ten children per family.

The idea behind the 25 cent cost originated so parents could proudly tell their children that they bought the presents.

"They can tell them 'I bought this for you','" says the Center's Rev. Etchemendy. "It brings a sense of dignity and pride."

While the parents shop, West Linn Lutheran Church, which is across the street from The Unity Center, will provide free childcare.

The public is encouraged to donate new and unwrapped toys, art supplies, board games, stuffed animals, gift cards and other gifts to the project. Donations can be dropped off at The Unity Center, 20255 Willamette Drive in West Linn, Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or by appointment. Cash donations are also accepted. To learn more call The Unity Center at 503-697-9765.

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