It’s time for Operation Giving Tree – help local children have a merry Christmas

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CLEVELAND -- It's that time of year again!

As we deck our homes with decorations and holiday cheer, FOX 8 is once again asking that you think about those who are less fortunate.

Operation Giving Tree is now in its 10th year; and this year, thousands of kids, from newborn to 21-years-old, are asking for your help in making their Christmas a little brighter.

Sabrina Green with Cuyahoga County Children and Family services says, "It's been a worthwhile project and FOX 8 viewers always come out and support."

The kids who will be receiving gifts from you, our loyal and dedicated viewers, are from Cuyahoga, Lorain, Lake, Summit and Medina, all of them are in county care. For some, this may be the only gift they receive this holiday.

Adoption worker Tanya Spraggins says, “If we didn't have toys donated to our children, it would be a sad situation. In addition to that, when the kids get the gifts, they are so excited when they get the gifts, it brings back a sense of normalcy to the child."

The various county organizations will match up all donated items with what is on a foster child's wish list to be handed out before December 25th.

"They're looking for anything from dolls to trucks to strollers to gift cards for the older teens which is our hardest population," said Green.

In years past, hundreds of you dropped off gifts, supporting this annual toy drive. All gifts must be new and unwrapped.

And the first 30-people who show up to FOX 8 to drop off a gift on Wednesday, will each receive a five-dollar Panera gift card.

And we should also mention the live reindeer! They'll be here outside our studios to greet families as they come out to give back; with help from our good friends and sponsor, the Northern Ohio Honda dealers.

Spraggins adds, "It's a wonderful thing to do. It's a good feeling inside to do it. And you know you're doing a good thing for our children."