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Monday, November 30, 2009

Holiday Toy Drives of Sonoma County

Taking Care of our Children on the Holidays

Below is a story of one family's personal efforts to provide toys for homeless children. There are Toy drives throughout Sonoma County as we approach the Holidays - Please participate in one close to you and let us know of Toy Drives not on our list. Please e-mail information to
Christmas in October Fundraiser for Homeless Children

My family and I were sitting around the dinner table when my oldest son Aidan, who is almost 7, asked, “Mom, can I help give some food to the kids who don’t have any?”. After I wiped the tears from my face, I gave him an absolute firm “yes!”.

That night we got on the computer and started researching places where we might be able to help. We came upon Catholic Charities out of Santa Rosa. They were excited to hear from us and have been extremely helpful from day one.

It started out as possibly bringing cupcakes to the kids, or helping to serve dinner, but my son wanted more. We suggested to Catholic Charities maybe a toy drive. I requested that they send us a list of all of the children living in the shelter with their names, age and gender. Two days ago, I received this list. There are 60 children living in the shelter with their families, ranging in age from 2 weeks old to 15 years old.

Aioli Delicatessen organized a toy drive for these less fortunate children to bring a smile to their faces in this tumultuous and uncertain time in their lives. We assigned people a boy or a girl with an age.They in turn buy a gift that was age appropriate and brought it to Aioli in Forestville.

Community support made it happen! We thank everyone who participated to this a worthy cause.

Autumn Opitz
Aioli – A Gourmet Delicatessen
6536 Front Street
Forestville, CA 95436


Fire Departments:

Graton Fire:
Please bring new, unwrapped gift to:
• Graton Post office on Ross Road
• Graton Fire Station on Ross at Graton Rd.
• Graton Commuity Center, Graton at Edison on Dec. 13th
• The barrell at Andy's Market on Hwy 116 North

Forestville Fire:
Please bring new, unwrapped gifts to:
• Forestville Fire Dept on Mirabel Road
Toys will be distributed to The Forestville Giving Tree Program and Toys for Tots

Sebastopol Fire:
Please bring new, unwrapped gifts to
• Sebastopol Fire Station on Bodega Hwy west of downtown.
If you have ideas and gifts for pre-teens and teens it would be very helpful - thank you.

The Giving Tree Program:
Front Street Hair Salon
6681 Front Street in Forestville
Please bring unwrapped, new gifts until December 23rd.
Benefits children from Sonoma County Family, Youth and Children's Maintenance Program (Child Protective Services)

River to Coast Children's Services
Give Santa a hand this year by donating a toy or gift certificate for a child, ages toddler through teen. Please drop off donations at River To Coast Children’s Services. For gift ideas, check out the Christmas Tree in Westamerica Bank, in downtown Guerneville.

Guerenville Holiday Community Dinner & Toy Drive
Friday Dec 25 1-4p.m. Guerneville Vet's Hall on the corner Church & 1st Street. Bob Burke plays Santa, Russian River Sisters and The Metropolitan Church of Guerneville co-sponser this community-wide free dinner. All welcome!!! For donations or to volunteer please call-Leslyn Dooley 869-0660 or Mary Mount 695-3980. Also we are Toy Driving this year on our own sooo please call Leslyn Dooley 869-0660 or Mary Mount 695-3980 for pick up or drop off. We needs to gifts for peole of ALL ages quite honestly!

Redwood Gospel Mission Homeless Shelter
Please drop toy donations to any Redwood Gospel Mission store at:
1821 Piner Road, Santa Rosa

Thru Dec 24 ~ Children's Village Toy Drive ~ I'd like to extend this offer to all of you and your friends, family and co-workers... in an effort to collect as many toys and gifts for the Childrens Village Christmas Party, Family Optometry Center will be hosting toy drive here in the office from now until Christmas: 1559 Farmers Lane, Santa Rosa, CA 95405, 707-571-2020, There will be a box in the lobby for unwrapped toys and we are also giving each person who comes in with an unwrapped toy $25 off their purchase along with a gift. We will be providing Christmas Trees, filled stockings, dinner and a morning of fun for the children at The Children's Village as well as a 'house stocking' for each of the 4 houses on site. Any donation is greatly appreciated.

Grub for Gifts Exchange
Peter and Annette White, owners of Sugo Trattoria in downtown Petaluma, wanted to help. They have created a weeklong “Grub for Gifts Exchange” in their restaurant to benefit Toys for Tots. Visit Sugo Trattoria for lunch or dinner Dec. 14 – Dec.21, 2009, bring in a new, unwrapped toy and receive a free order of Sugo’s acclaimed Bruschetta Trio. Happy Holiday’s from Sugo Trattoria’s Family to Yours! Sugo is located at 5 Petaluma Blvd. South, Petaluma, 707-782-9298,

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