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Merced County Sheriff seeking holiday toy donations for children, families

The Merced County Sheriff’s Office is teaming up with Merced County Probation and Wellpath this year for Operation Christmas Star, according to a Sheriff’s Office news release.

The program is accepting donations of new unwrapped toys and clothes this holiday season with the goal of delivering the items to children in the community.

The Sheriff’s Office says it’s currently distributing applications for the annual toy drive, and additional applications can be found at the Merced County Sheriff’s Office, the Merced County Probation Department and the Los Banos Sheriff’s Sub Station.

In addition to Operation Christmas Star, the Sheriff’s Office has also created new programs that will be collecting donations this holiday season.

The Giving/Teen Trees program consists of Christmas trees located in the lobbies of the Merced County Sheriff’s Office, Merced County Administration Building, the Probation Department and the Iris Garret Juvenile Justice Correctional Complex, according to the news release.

The Sheriff’s Office says trees at the four locations will have paper ornaments containing gift ideas for teenage children. Individuals looking to donate, can take an ornament and return it with a donated item to any of the four locations.

Authorities say Operation Christmas Star has also collaborated with various local businesses that will have collection boxes for monetary donations.

The Sheriff’s Office says it is also looking to help families displaced by the Camp Fire in Butte County. Families that relocated to Merced County due to the fire are asked to inform the Sheriff’s Office, in a note at the top of the application, according to the news release.