If you are looking to give back this holiday season, you might consider heading over to your local coffee shop.

This Saturday, a Tualatin Starbucks will be transformed into the North Pole for Santa Claus, with a Tigard 8-year-old working to collect toys for children across Portland.

Déja Fitzwater is a third-grader at Durham Elementary School, but that hasn’t stopped her from doing her part to help families who can’t afford presents under their Christmas tree.

On Saturday, Déja will be at the Starbucks at 7131 S.W. Nyberg St. from 1 to 4 p.m., holding a toy drive to help spread the word about the Metro Toy Drive, a Portland-area group that collects toys, books and games for needy children across the area.

Santa Claus will also be on hand to take free photos with youngsters.

Another toy drive is planned in Southeast Portland the following day.

Fabienne Fitzwater said her daughter has always wanted to help those in need. When Déja was 5, she started donating art supplies to children who need them. She calls it “Art for Ages.”

The idea came to the elementary schooler three years ago when her family was collecting pajamas for the Caring Closet, a nonprofit group on Tigard High School’s campus that donates clothes and supplies to students in need.

“She loves art,” her mother said. “She told me, ‘If these children don’t have money for pajamas, I know they don’t have money for art supplies.”

Metro Toy Drive distributes the toys to families as well as hospitals, schools, community centers and shelters to get the toys where they are most needed.

The Toy Drive helps bring presents to kids year round for birthdays, holidays, medical situations and personal loss.

“Times are difficult for thousands of families in our community right now,” said the toy drive’s Executive Director Huy Nguyen. “With the public’s support, we hope to make the holidays a little brighter for everyone.”

Can’t make this weekend’s events? The community is encouraged to donate new, unwrapped toys, books and games to Starbucks locations between now and Dec. 24.

For more information on the event, visit

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