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Make it Merry: 9 Holiday Drives

Tis the season of giving—not just to your nearest and dearest but to those you don’t know, too. There are many ways to do the latter, the easiest being contributing to toy and clothing drives in the area. These drives are essential to the community in providing people (mostly children) with the joy and warmth (literally) of the holiday season. Make like Mr. or Mrs. Claus, find a cause close to you, and consider making someone’s Christmas merry and bright.

Placer County Vintners Association is once again organizing their annual Holidays in the Hills event and this year is going to bigger than ever with the fun going all month long. Enjoy good wine and good company while supporting the local Toys for Tots drive by bringing a new, unwrapped toy before Christmas to any of the participating wineries. This is not a ticketed event; check with individual wineries for special activities and tasting fees.

Toys for Tots El Dorado County/Placerville


Toys for Tots El Dorado County/Placerville operates by the slogan: “Every child deserves a little Christmas.” Donate your new, unopened toy at the Bell Tower in Placerville on December 4 between 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Hangtown Christmas Parade on December 5 beginning at 11 a.m. (drop-off locations are at Broadway Plaza on Broadway and the Grocery Outlet parking lot on Broadway), or at multiple boxes throughout the county (to be picked up around December 5). Your donations will go to school children up to the age of 17.

Christmas Around Towne


Powerhouse Ministries is organizing Christmas Around Towne at Lakeside Church on December 11 where families will get to enjoy a brunch, Christmas program, and also gift-shop for free. If you’d like to contribute to this experience, bring new, unwrapped gifts—for babies, kids, teens, or adults—to Powerhouse Ministries in Folsom (311 Market Street) by December 8 or donate via their website. Suggested donation items include baby clothes and care kits, small kitchen appliances, video games, cologne sets, adult and kids clothing, toys, and Amazon/Target/Walmart gift cards.

Folsom Police Department Christmas Toy Drive


Folsom’s CAPS (Citizens Assisting Public Safety) volunteers—on behalf of the Folsom Police and Fire Departments and the Folsom Police Foundation—run the Folsom Police Department Christmas Toy Drive each year. Upon identifying local families in need, they gather children’s Christmas wishes and collect donations from generous residents. Locate a drop-off site for your unwrapped toy on their website or use their Amazon wish lists to have gifts delivered to the Folsom Police Department.

Christmas is for Kids Toy Run


Cappuccino Cruisers and That Dam Place are hosting their annual Christmas is for Kids Toy Run on December 4 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit the restaurant parking lot (1013 Riley Street) in Folsom and feast your eyes on classic cars, hot rods, custom and muscle cars, and more. Entry is one new, unwrapped toy or $20. Bring the kids for pictures with Santa and enjoy Christmas music, crafters, vendors, and raffles.

El Dorado County Office of Education’s (EDCOE) Coat Drive occurs each year where team members work with school districts to discreetly identify students whose families may not be able to afford a coat for the chilly winter. Once identified, coats are purchased online through a variety of vendors and shipped directly to schools. To donate to the EDCOE fund that raises money for programs like the coat drive, visit

El Dorado Hills Fire Department’s Food & Toy Drive collects and distributes toys to families in need. Each of the EDH fire stations will have collection boxes through Christmas, and donations received after Christmas will be kept for next year. Elves will also be collecting food and toy donations (plus letters to Santa) at all the Santa Run stops between December 7-11.

National Charity League's Folsom Chapter


National Charity League’s Folsom Chapter is supporting many of their partners with various holiday drives. Blessing in a Backpack is collecting new toys, stocking stuffers, and pantry staples at 9249 Folsom Boulevard by December 11; FCUSD’s Homeless Outreach is collecting boys’/men’s underwear (Hanes or Cool Zone), girls’/women’s underwear (Hanes or Fruit of the Loom), and socks (low-cut/quarter length) by December 10 at any FCUSD school; and Folsom Zoo Sanctuary is collecting toys for their animals by December 17 at the zoo. Their wish list can be found at

The City of Roseville Toys for Tots program is operating across the city this month. Take your new, unwrapped toy to the Maidu Library, Riley Library, Downtown Library, Roseville Fire Administration, and other drop-off locations that can be found at

by Tara Mendanha

Holidays in the Hills photo by Heirloom Photography. Placerville Toys for Tots photo by Bill Robinson Studios. Other photo courtesy of its respective company or organization.