Merced County Sheriff’s Department Christmas toy drive kicks off Tuesday

A Christmas toy drive sponsored by the Merced County Sheriff’s Department and the county Human Services Agency begins Tuesday.

Two collection spots will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Merced County Administration Building, 222 M St., and the Walgreens parking lot at Olive Avenue and G Street.

There wil be donation barrels at the Human Services Agency, 2115 Wardrobe Ave., Family Resource Center, 1573 W. Main St., Mental Health Department, 480 E. 13th St., and Public Health Department, 260 E. 15th St., from Wednesday after Tuesdayuntil Dec. 20.

The department will be accepting new toys, nonperishable foods and cash donations, according to Deputy Delray Shelton. The gifts should not be wrapped.

The Christmas effort, dubbed “Operation Holiday Toy Drive,” aims to help Merced County families in need. It has been conducted annually for more than a decade.

C.J. Jones of the Human Services Agency said all gifts are accepted but that the group always has a particularly tough time finding gifts and donations for infants, from newborn to 3 years old, and for children ages 11 to 19.

Families who would like to sign up to receive donations from the toy drive can apply in person at the Sheriff’s Department until 5 p.m. Wednesday. The department is located at 700 W. 22nd St.

For more information, contact Shelton at (209) 725-3949 or Jones at (209) 385-3000, ext. 5285.