By Misty DUPLESSIS
The Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station has hosted its annual Sheriff’s Toy and Food Drive for more than 20 years – and this year is no exception.
Although the organization is currently actively welcoming donations, the Sheriff’s Toy and Food Drive committee never stops accumulating items for the yearly event. Toy surpluses from previous collections are rolled over to the following year and extra canned goods are sent to local churches.
Station volunteers have been busy for the last several weeks working at an undisclosed location to sort, bag and store the donated items. Volunteers are also on hand daily to receive large shipments and organize items.
The department is accepting canned foods, toys and monetary donations throughout the foothills and beyond. Not only are collection bins set up at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s station at 4554 N. Briggs Ave., but also at the YMCA, Vons, Ralphs, Sav-On, and local banks, businesses and schools.
This year, teachers submitted 182 nominations to the station of deserving families of students in need who attend the Glendale, La Cañada and Los Angeles school districts. The families will receive two large food baskets of canned meats and vegetables, a $20 gift card to the local grocery store purchased through raised funds and a minimum of three toys for all children under the age of 16 in the family.
Gifts, such as sports equipment like basketballs and baseball gloves and beauty bags for children between the ages of 12 and 16, are still much needed.
So far, 50 bags have been put together. Donations have been coming in a little slower than previous years, but organizers are optimistic that they will fill their remaining 132 bags.
All those involved are thankful to the residents, businesses and schools donating, including Crescenta Valley High School, which has been a strong supporter of the organization providing much of the money needed to purchase the food certificates for the families. The group is looking forward to Dec. 16 when CVHS will turn over all the goods students, staff and the administration gathered and help assemble some incomplete bags.
Home deliveries are scheduled to take place on Dec. 18 and volunteers are prepared to work double time in the week leading to the distribution of the bags to ensure that each family nominated gets a bag with their name on it.
Community Relations Deputy Jorge Valdivia commends the volunteer staff for all its efforts in making this a special holiday for those families in need.
“The volunteers are doing all the work,” he said. With the deadline approaching quickly, Valdivia said that he is confident that the bags will be filled.