Local community members are encouraged to donate new unwrapped toys for the Great Venice Toy Drive, a project of the Venice Neighborhood Council.

The council, which began accepting toy donations at its Nov. 15 meeting, hopes the drive will become an annual event in Venice.

“Venice hasn’t had a toy giveaway that is open to the public for many years. We’re really looking forward to starting a new holiday tradition for our kids,” said Venice Neighborhood Council member Mariana Aguilar, who heads the toy drive.

Toys can be dropped off any time through Thursday, Dec. 8 at Abbot’s Habit, 1401 Abbot Kinney Blvd., and at Fabric Planet, 423 Lincoln Blvd. in Venice. Toys can also be dropped off on Friday mornings at the neighborhood council’s booth at the Venice Farmers Market, at the intersection of Venice Boulevard and Venice Way, between 8:30 and 10:30 a.m.

Santa Claus will be on hand when the toys are distributed during a fun-filled day for children at the Oakwood Recreation Center, 767 California Ave., Saturday, Dec. 10.