WOODBURN, Ore. — A pure sense of happiness—that's how Marisela Canchola, a mother of five, describes the holidays.
Her family migrated from Guanajuato, Mexico to Woodburn, Oregon nearly 20 years ago in search of a brighter future. But it hasn't been the easiest road for them, especially financially during Christmas.
“It was a little difficult because with my husband's salary alone we didn't have enough to buy everyone something," Canchola said. "So, we would buy them a change of clothing they needed most."
Marisela's husband is a farmworker. Her family is one of 186 families that get help from the nonprofit Farmworker Housing Development based in Woodburn. The nonprofit helps mid-Willamette Valley families who have a parent working in local fields and farms.
The nonprofit partners with KGW to help give out toys donated to the KGW Great Toy Drive. The collection event goes through December 16. It's been a mainstay in the community for more than 35 years.
"Well, I'd like to thank everyone with all of my heart for making my kids' dreams come true and making them feel loved,” said Marisela. “In reality, it means a lot because not everyone chooses to help those in need."
Marisela comes from a family of 13 siblings and said she hardly remembers getting Christmas presents as a child. But that never dimmed her love for the holidays— as there's more to celebrate than gifts. For example, like making tamales and going to church with her family.
But she can't deny her kids' love for new toys.
"My youngest son always asks for those little characters that can fly— Paw Patrols,” said Marisela. “And my daughter likes to ask for things like headphones."
Marisela hopes everyone who donates toys knows what this small gesture means to her and her family.
How to donate to the KGW Great Toy Drive
Donations can be made in several ways:
- Donate funds online at KGW.com/toy.
- Accepting toy donations at any iQ Credit Union.
- Accepting toy donations at local Toyota Dealerships and they’ll match a toy donation.
- Accepting toy donations at Fred Meyer.
- Supporting the “Week of Giving,” Ziply Fiber will give $5 per fiber installation the week of November 14.
- Accepting toy donations at 300 other participating partner locations. For a complete list of locations, please visit KGW.com/toy.