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Holiday gifts provide joy for Washington County foster children

Summerfield residents go all out again to support kids in need
by: Barbara Sherman BOUNDLESS GENEROSITY — Washington County foster care program kids had a merry Christmas thanks to Kathy Peper (left), organizer of the Summerfield giving tree program, who got help from friends like Bette Ederer.

Summerfield residents again turned out in full force to support Washington County's annual gift drive for foster children.

Last year child services provided 55 tags, and Summerfield residents provided 42 gifts. This year there were 75 tags, and Summerfield residents were able to provide 63 gifts, according to Kathy Peper, who organized the drive again.

"There have been several questions about how tags work," she said. "The Scotty Foundation collects names of the foster children in Washington County in September. However, many children come into foster care after tags are made.

"Tags are represented on two different trees. When gifts are collected, they are taken to a warehouse in Beaverton where each child/tag is given a large bag.

'Gifts are placed on top of the bag until all gifts are distributed. If a child's name has been chosen twice, the extra gift is given to a child who did not come into foster care in sufficient time to receive a tag."

Summerfield residents donated an array of gifts - some of the very generous - including two bicycles, computer games, clothing, toys and gift cards, according to Peper.

A Nike employee whose parents reside in Summerfield donated two pairs of men's tennis shoes as teen boys' tags are often not chosen.

Donna Allen, a Summerfield resident who headed a Toys for Tots drive for the Oregon PERS, provided 200 toys that were donated by employees. Also, Allen's agency arranged for Willamette Writers, a publishing company, to donate 500 books to foster children.

For a second year, the Tigard Morning Rotary Club donated gift cards.

"It is with deep appreciation that we thank all who have so generously contributed to this very worthwhile event," Peper said.