Wilsonville Parks and Rec toy drive helping make this Christmas merry and bright

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Last year, Wilsonville residents donated 634 new, unopened toys.

The season of giving and gratitude is upon us and the Wilsonville Parks and Recreation department is inviting residents to show their gratitude by giving a toy to a child in need.

Back for its fourth year, the generosity of the community did not disappoint last year, smashing the 500-toy goal with 634 new, unopened toys.

This year, organizers are hoping to again top the previous year's number with a goal of 675 toys with the help of donation partners Wilsonville Orthodontics and Oregon Community Credit Union (OCCU) Wilsonville.

"My favorite thing about the toy drive is the focus on giving rather than receiving, and a community coming together to create positive change," said Erica Behler, Wilsonville Parks and Recreation recreation coordinator. "Donations do not need to be the biggest toy on the shelf — every little bit helps!"

Donated toys will be collected by Toy & Joy/Compassion in Action Clackamas County (CiACC) which matches donations. At the end of the toy drive, CiACC will distribute donated toys to local children in need.

For those who have never participated in the Parks and Rec toy drive drive before, Behler encourage residents to take the time to make a difference in a child's life.

"Consider donating a toy because it will bring tremendous joy to a child that may not otherwise get a present this year," Behler said. "The simple act of knowing you made a difference to another life is

what the holiday season is all about."