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Norman Trolley Collects Toys For Cleveland Co. Christmas Store

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Santa Claus is coming to campus, and he has his helpers on hand to do all the heavy lifting. Santa Claus is coming to campus, and he has his helpers on hand to do all the heavy lifting.
NORMAN, Oklahoma -

The University of Oklahoma campus comes together to help some children in need have a merry Christmas. Dozens of departments collected gifts for the annual "Fill the Trolley" toy drive.

For the last 10 years, OU Transportation employees ride around to about 50 departments, collecting toys and then stuffing them inside a trolley part of the Cleveland Area Rapid Transit (CART).

"It's become a tradition, and we feel like it's a way for us to give back to the community," said Vicky Holland, a marketing specialist for OU Parking and Transportation Services.

"We are a public transit system, and we're just trying to do our part to help out kids at Christmas time."

Santa Claus is coming to campus, and he has his helpers on hand to do all the heavy lifting.

"I get to be the muscles of the organization, so I get to carry the boxes," said Casey Moore of parking services.

OU Transportation employees dressed the part as they picked up boxes of presents from dozens of departments for the "Fill the Trolley" drive.

"You know our Norman families in our communities and in the area could really use the help during Christmas," said Erin Yarbrough in the Web Communications department. "And we love to donate back and give back."

Dashing on and off the Sooner Trolley, St. Nick made his way through Norman. At Evans Hall, he went and up and down several flights of stairs to take in toys.

The biggest give came from Monnet Hall where Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal helped show off 17 bicycles with helmets.

Each set of wheels with the name Cody written on it for Cody Ponder, the Transportation assistant director, who died of esophageal cancer the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.

"We lost a CART family member this last week, and his family's asked that donations to his memorial go to "Fill the Trolley," Holland said.

One by one, bikes were brought down the steps. The trolley was packed, but Santa's work is far from over.

The "Fill the Trolley" toy drive helps close to 1,000 children in Cleveland County. Santa and his elves will be riding through campus again Tuesday picking up more boxes.

All the toys will go to the Christmas Store at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds. Parents with children in need can shop there starting next week.

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