Roughly 1,200 Oakland families have signed up so far to receive toys through the Mayor's Community Toy Drive this year. New, unwrapped toys can be donated in bins located around the city.

At this time of year, many parents grab up lists to Santa and race to the mall in hopes of nabbing the year’s hottest toys to hide under the tree. But for Nombuyiselo Gqajena, an Oakland mother living at the Henry Robinson Multi-Service Center—a transitional housing facility—Christmas presents great emotional and financial stress.

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