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Oakland officials ask for last minute help in toy drive

on December 22, 2010

Santa’s little helpers are fewer and farther between this year in Oakland, as the mayor’s toy drive is coming up short on donations. This morning mayor-elect Jean Quan sent out an email blast asking people to bring a new toy or a check to City Hall.

“Yesterday I was told that contributions are running far behind last year; we are $10,000 short of what we need to meet commitments to registered families,” Quan said in the email.

Oakland North previously reported that families are scheduled to pick up toys for their children through Thursday, and Al Lujan, a supervisor for the program, expected between 1,700 and 1,800 families to sign up in all. Lujan wasn’t immediately available to comment on the current amount of families signed up or how many may be without toys if more donations don’t come in.

Sandra Sanders-West, a community liaison officer in the Oakland Police Department, sent out an email to parishioners at her church in Berkeley asking for donations by today. “The thought that a child will be without a Christmas toy is heart-wrenching,” Sanders-West said in the email, which said that the need for dolls of color is especially high. Sanders-West will be picking up donations at the Epworth United Methodist Church of Berkeley at 5:30pm Wednesday.

Quan’s email also made it clear that donations can be made online at the following website:

Questions? Call Al Lujan at (510) 238-7366 or email

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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