ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The Roseburg Fire Department is gearing up for one of the biggest toy giveaways of the year in this Saturday's annual Toys for Tots drive, being held at Hucrest Elementary School in Roseburg.
They have been collecting toy donations throughout the year, and this weekend they will be distributed to hundreds of families around the county.
Once a year, local Roseburg firefighters and their families create a free Christmas gift shop for children in need.
Toys for Tots Coordinator and Roseburg Firefighter, Ryan Travis, said, "If your a kid, I think, and you wake up in the morning and you have nothing there for you, it's kind of like you've been forgotten a little bit, and they don't really understand the economy crunches that the parents are feeling. So, that's where I think our union stands in and helps those families out and gives them a good Christmas."
The program has grown significantly in the last decade. Before Travis took over the program, the department used to receive $3-5,000 worth of toys, and are now receiving close to $10,000.
Due to the economic times, Travis says the need has still grown. "The cash donations are down pretty significantly, which is understanding. I think people know there's going to be a need out there. So, the people that are able to donate a little bit more than they may have in the past, so we're going to have a good year, but it's going to be cutting it pretty close."
Lines form early, typically the night before, as doors open at 8:00 a.m., and go until the toys run out.
The event is designated for parents only, and to receive toys parents must bring their social security number, an I.D., as well as a black plastic bag to put the toys in.
If you still want to make a donation before the event, you can drop off toys at any Roseburg Fire Department.