Clackamas Fire has canceled its Operation Santa nightly parades this year, an annual tradition since 1974.
Firefighters instead are organizing eight drive-up and drop-off events throughout the fire district.
Contactless collection events begin Nov. 28 and run through Dec. 13 (2020's new Operation Santa protocol discourages citizens from dropping off toys at community fire stations).
"Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus, we have to change the way Operation Santa looks this year," said Clackamas Fire spokesperson Brandon Paxton. "We are doing our very best to continue this time-honored tradition and to help as many families in our community as possible, but we are subject to the restrictions and to keeping people healthy."
For the past 45 years, during the month-long holiday toy and food drive, Clackamas Fire District #1 volunteers and employees led Santa's fire engine parade down neighborhood streets to collect nonperishable food items. Those items are then used to fill hundreds of food baskets for needy families, as well as donated new toys for children.
"We are not able to accept donations of stuffed animals and clothing items for this year, but only new toys that are packaged," Paxton said. "Donated funds are used to purchase perishable items for food baskets."
If you would like to sign up to be a recipient of food and toys, contact Compassion in Action at ciacc.org, which provides a list of families in need to firefighters. Clackamas Fire will not be able to accept any applications in person this year.
A tax-deductible donation to Operation Santa can be made to the Clackamas Emergency Services Foundation, a nonprofit organization associated with Clackamas Fire. Mail checks to Clackamas Emergency Services Foundation, 11300 S.E. Fuller Road, Milwaukie, OR 97222.
Check out clackamasfire.com for further details about the program.
You can donate nonperishable food and new, unwrapped toys for families in need within the Clackamas Fire District. If visiting the following locations, firefighters request you wear a face covering, maintain 6 feet of physical distance from staff and those around you, and stay home if you are sick.
Donation times and locations
• 1-7 p.m. Nov. 28, Clackamas Fire Station 10, 22310 S. Beavercreek Road
• 1-7 p.m. Nov. 29, Hilltop Cinema parking lot, 358 Warner Milne Road, Oregon City
• 5-8 p.m. Dec. 4, Clackamas Fire Training Center Grounds, 15990 S.E. 130th Ave., Clackamas
• 1-7 p.m. Dec. 5, Clackamas Town Center Sears parking lot, 11800 S.E. 82nd Ave.
• 1-7 p.m. Dec. 6, Happy Valley City Hall, 16000 S.E. Misty Drive
• 5-8 p.m. Dec. 11, Clackamas Fire Training Center Grounds
• 1-7 p.m. Dec. 12, Clackamas Fire Station 14
28655 S.E. Highway 212, Boring
• 1-7 p.m. Dec. 13, Milwaukie Farmer's Market Parking Lot
1073 SE Main St.
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