Baskets of Joy to collect food donations at Saturday's Harvest Market event

by: TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - A Beaverton library patron checks out the new holiday donation container for the city of Beaverton and Tualatin Valley Gleaners' toy and gift card drive.It will still be awhile before Santa Claus comes to town, but the city of Beaverton and a local charity organization are working together to give him a head start in getting toys and gift cards to foster children and youth from low-income families in time for the holidays.

The third annual Beaverton Toy and Gift Card Drive, co-sponsored with the Tualatin Valley Gleaners, kicked off on Tuesday with decorated donation barrels set up at eight locations around the city, including City Hall, 4755 S.W. Griffith Drive; both Beaverton City Library locations, 12375 S.W. Fifth St. and 11200 S.W. Murray Scholls Place, suite 102; and The Human Bean coffee outlet at 8355 S.W. Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway.

New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at the sites. Non-perishable food donations will be accepted at City Hall and the libraries, while gift cards from stores and merchants may be donated at the city’s Neighborhood Program Office, room 103 in City Hall.

Tualatin Valley Gleaners, a Beaverton-based supplemental food program that partners with the city, Beaverton Farmers Market, the Oregon Food Bank and others, will distribute the toys to low-income youth and foster children throughout Washington County. Donated gift cards will be distributed to homeless students through the Beaverton School District’s McKinney-Vento Homeless Program.

Organizers and volunteers with the gleaners seek to help 500 families, including 1,000 children, through this year’s toy drive. Last year’s event brought new toys and books to more than 960 children, along with more than $2,800 worth of gift cards for the holiday season, noted Megan Cohen, coordinator of the city’s Neighborhood Program.

“This is a nice thing that’s been around awhile,” she said. “(Tualatin Valley Gleaners) work with the school district to identify where the gifts should be going, to families that need it. It’s all local, which is a good thing. For Beaverton people helping out other Beaverton people, it’s a pretty straight line.”

Harvest baskets

In addition to the toy drive, the Gleaners will launch its Baskets of Joy fundraiser on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Harvest Market, the final Beaverton Farmers Market day of the season, on Southwest Hall Boulevard between Third and Fifth streets. Market-goers are encouraged to bring nonperishable gifts, such as peanut butter and canned goods as well as beauty, grooming and cleaning supplies.

Customers are also encouraged to purchase an extra market vendor product as a donation to the Gleaners, through which more than 500 families collaborate to “glean” food from fields and orchards and collect items that stores and markets donate.

“There is a desperate need for food, fresh and nonperishable, plus health and grooming products,” said Heather Thompson, the Gleaners’ executive program director. “It means so much to our young kids in need to have a good meal, a nice toy, nail polish, shampoo or sanitary products. Over the years, so many other outlets for help and services have gone away, so (we) want to make this a good Christmas for these families in need, many of them living with disabilities.”

Vendors at the Harvest Market will sell holiday-themed food, wreaths and gifts, along with the regular winter vegetables, cottage industry products, bakery, meats and poultry items.

Mayor Denny Doyle encouraged residents who are able to share to think about helping the holiday season shine a little brighter for those in need in the area.

“The holidays can be a tough time for many families struggling to make ends meet,” he said. “For those facing financial challenges, a new toy or a warm meal can make a world of difference — bringing hope, comfort and joy at a time when they need it most.”

In addition to the toy drop-off stations, toys will also be accepted during the city of Beaverton’s Tree Lighting and Holiday Open House on Friday, Dec. 6, from 5-8 p.m. at the Beaverton City Library and Beaverton City TIMES PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - Megan Cohen, right, coordinator of city's Neighborhood Program, and Beaverton City Library circulation manager Melissa Little talk about the benefits of the food and toy drive being spearheaded by the city and Tualatin Valley Gleaners.

You can help

Items for the Beaverton Toy and Gift Card Drive can be dropped off at the following locations:

  • Beaverton City Hall, 4755 S.W. Griffith Drive;

  • Beaverton City Library, 12375 S.W. Fifth St.;

  • Beaverton Library at Murray Scholls, 11200 S.W. Murray Scholls Place, suite 102;

  • The Human Bean, 8355 Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy.;

  • Umpqua Bank, 7365 S.W. Barnes Road, suite A, Portland;

  • VeggieGrill, 3435 S.W. Cedar Hills Blvd.;

  • EcoBinary, 8240 S.W. Nimbus Ave.; and Little Pixels, 12620 S.W. Farmington Road.
  • To learn more about Tualatin Valley Gleaners, visit

    For city of Beaverton information, visit

    For Beaverton Farmers Market information, visit

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