by: TAMI HANSEN - Gert Zoutendijk, left, and Karl Ritchey of the Lake Oswego Fire Department were all smiles when they surveyed the results of the Christmas toy drive.There will be 234 kids in this area having a merry Christmas this season because of the Lake Oswego Fire Department and Shorenstein Properties.

They teamed up for a toy drive that was so successful that it left gift barrels overflowing and Christmas trees surrounded by stacks of toys before everything was shipped off for delivery on Thursday to the Tualatin Valley Elks Club.

“We have 20 buildings, so we had 20 toy barrels,” said Tami Hansen, assistant property manager for Shorenstein Properties. “I think we had a pretty good haul.”

Meanwhile, the lobby of the main LOFD Station on B Avenue was filled with a huge number of the new toys donated by generous local residents.

The Christmas toy drive came about this year because of the past close partnership between the LOFD and Shorenstein. Gert Zoutendijk, LOFD deputy fire marshal, often makes safety inspections at Shorenstein’s main office on Meadows Road, and the LOFD often uses the Shorenstein building for training exercises. It took only a little conversation to ignite a big toy drive.

The toy drive was the most fun part of a holiday charity effort by Shorenstein that included collecting food for the Oregon Food Bank, books for children and the Mittens Project, which included the gathering of 1,000 coats.

“Everything was local,” Hansen said. “We want to partner with the community.”

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