By Mary O’KEEFE
Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Toy and Food Drive volunteers packed up items for over 200 families early Saturday morning and began delivering.
The rain didn’t dampen the spirit of giving as the volunteers went to homes of families in need, bringing food and toys.
Joanne Berg has been part of the toy drive since 1999. She chairs the gathering and distribution of the much needed and appreciated items.
“We were a little worried this year at first but this is such a generous community,” Berg said.
Crescenta Valley High School students donated truckloads of toys and food items.
“They were very supportive,” Berg said.
The volunteers brought holiday gifts to about 70 more families this year than last. Berg said the community responded to the need and now the volunteers are able to service not only the initial list of foothill community families but also those on a waiting list.
Sheriff volunteers, support group, members of CERT [Community Emergency Response Team], Sheriff’s Explorers and Montrose Search and Rescue team members loaded up bags of toys and food and brought some cheer on a very rainy morning.
Deputy Jorge Valdivia said the program is its own reward.
“I remember entering a home where a family was living in one small room. The look on the faces of the kids as we handed them their gifts was worth everything,” he said.
Glendale Police were also bringing joy to those in need with their Cops for Kids toy drive. Glendale Kiwanis members and teens from The Fire House helped to deliver gifts to a family in Montrose with Officer Joe Allen and his daughter Megan.
Kiwanis Club of Glendale has been a strong supporter of Cops for Kids for many years.
Officer Allen, wearing a festive bow on his head, had first grader William and 3-year-old Marissa Amezcuca giggling as he delivered package after package.
“Here, now put this under the tree,” Allen said to Marissa who eagerly obeyed.
The children placed the packages under the tree, arranging them just so to make certain they knew right where they were early Christmas morning.
For those still in the giving mood:
The CHiPs for Kids toy drive is going on through Dec. 24. Toy barrels are located at Walgreens, 3001 Foothill Blvd.