MERCHANTS at The Forks Market launched their annual toy drive Monday for the Christmas Cheer Board.
"Last year, we sent 750 toys valued at over $15,000 to the Christmas Cheer Board and this year we hope to contribute even more," said Tower of Toys chairwoman Joyce Gittins.
Gittins said the central location of the market makes it a popular depot for people who want to drop off gifts for the Christmas drive.
It runs until Dec. 19, when merchants from The Forks Market deliver the collection to the Cheer Board.
Cheer Board executive director Kai Madsen thanked the merchants' organization for making The Forks a central depot again this year.
"I hope all the folks who come to The Forks bring in a toy and help people who are less fortunate celebrate Christmas," Madsen said.
The drive, in its 12th year, typically accounts for more than half of all the toys collected.
"It's major. We collected somewhere around $28,000 worth of toys last year and coin boxes besides that," Madsen said.