Tri-Cities gather to fill the Ben Franklin Transit Toy Trolley

KENNEWICK, Wash. — This year proved that the Tri-Cities come together in times of need. Despite the outstanding circumstances, Ben Franklin Transit and Townsquare Media celebrated the 21st Anniversary of Christmas for Children by filling the Toy Trolley.

Community members from throughout the Tri-Cities gathered on Saturday to donate new and unwrapped gifts for kids up to 17-years-old. The foundation of the annual Christmas for Children event is to teach local children about the values of giving back to those who are less fortunate.

The Toy Trolley was parked outside of the Ranch & Home at 845 N. Columbia Center Blvd. in Kennewick.

RELATED: Tri-Cities receive a boost from STCU’s Season of Giving

As Director of Content for Townsquare Media, Paul Drake understands the value of this toy drive is more crucial this year than ever.

“The goal is to fill the toy trolley and every year, we get it pretty full,” Drake said. “Especially this year, I think people want to do stuff and they want ways to help and I think this is a great way, and what better way to help kids in the community?”

Beyond the in-person event, toy bins were set up at select locations throughout the Tri-Cities so that everyone, even those who couldn’t make it on Saturday, can make an impact.

“This community comes together. The Mid-Columbia is just a great place to live,” Drake said. “People care for each other here.”

RELATED: Pasco COVID-19 testing site teaming up with Tri-Cities Toys for Tots

Gifts collected are going directly to Service Alternatives, a social services organization with a local presence that will distribute the presents to children throughout the Tri-Cities.

RELATED: Solgen Power asks for community help for holiday donation drive