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The annual Christmas Basket Food and Toy Drive in Lincoln City, will continue on this year despite a year amidst a pandemic and many other hardships.

The fundraiser put on by the Eagles Lodge and North Lincoln Fire and Rescue is officially underway as the organizations began accepting applications Nov. 18 for families in need of some help this holiday season. The Eagles and NLFR are already collecting cash donations, new, unwrapped toys and nonperishable food items to fill the Christmas baskets.

“I’ve been working on it since 1986,” Eagles member Alaina Jones said. “It’s our biggest charity event of the year for the Eagles.”

This year, Jones said they are expecting to supply 300-350 North Lincoln County families with 2-3 toys for every child under 17, as well as about a week’s worth of food that includes a Christmas dinner of a turkey or ham.

“With the fire, we know we have some people that have been affected, so we’re expecting a few more this year,” Jones said. “Fundraising has been tougher to do this year because of COVID. We usually do a live and silent auction but we aren’t going to do that this year. We’ve been pursuing other avenues to raise some funds.”

Those other sources of funding include a grant from both the Siletz Tribe and the Lincoln County Echo Mountain Fire Emergency Social Service group. These grants come in addition to annual donors that include McKay’s Food Market, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Lincoln City Factory Stores, Mo’s Cookie Sales, Marc Roemer Give a Damn Day, Toy and Joy Makers, KPTV Channel 12, Sea Foam Rebekas and Dinosaur Electronics.

“Lincoln City is pretty generous,” Jones said. Things will be tight this year, but we’ll be able to do what we set out to do.”

Additionally, Jones said if anyone is interested in making a donation to the food and toy drive or to apply, community members can stop by Eagles Lodge #2576 at 737 SW 32nd St. or at the NLFR stations at 4520 SE Hwy 101 and 2525 NW Hwy 101. You must live within the Fire District to qualify. Donations can also made at the various locations throughout town.

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