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Join the 'elves' at the Unity Center in making Christmas a little brighter to those in need this holiday season.

Again this year, the "elves" at The Unity Center in West Linn are working to ensure that area children have presents under the tree this holiday season. Now in its ninth year, The Unity Center's 25-Cent Toys for Girls and Boys event is being held Saturday, Dec. 8, and is currently collecting donations from community residents and businesses.

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 area primary schools and Clackamas County Head Start to identify families in need of gifting assistance.

"The holidays are for all," said Unity's Marilee Payne. "No matter our outer circumstances in life, we are all One in Spirit. We are all here to love and to help each other. The 25-Cent Toy Day helps us to practice and celebrate these values."

The idea behind the 25-cent cost, according to Unity's minister emeritus Rev. Victoria Etchemendy, originated so parents could proudly tell their children, "I bought this for you."

"It brings a sense of dignity and pride," she said.

Several area businesses, some other nearby churches and many generous local residents also support the event. One man has provided dozens of art kits each year as a gift to his wife who "already has everything she needs."

During the afternoon of Dec. 8, The Unity Center will become a Santa's workshop. Parents from participating families will be invited to pick out stocking stuffers, toys, and a book, a craft/art supply or a game for each of their children for a quarter each.

A crew of volunteers will assist the parents with shopping, serve them hot cocoa and sweets and wrap their children's gifts.

Donations of new, unwrapped toys, art supplies, board games, stuffed animals and gift cards for children (infants to teens) are now being accepted.

Financial donations can also be made via the center's websites, and volunteers will do the shopping. Donations for the 25-Cent Toy event can be dropped off at The Unity Center Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and during Sunday morning service.

For more information or to schedule a drop off after hours, call 503-697-9765 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Unity Center is located at 20255 Willamette Drive in West Linn.


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