A Caravan of Toys

Members of the Crescenta Valley Armenian Community and Youth Center stand with firefighters outside Glendale Fire Dept. Station 29 in Montrose after bringing toys to the station that were donated by Youth Center members and supporters.


As a kid there is nothing like waking up Christmas morning and finding toys under the tree, but for some families toys are a luxury they just can’t afford. Thanks to toy drives like Spark of Love, many kids get that toy-filled holiday morning.

It takes the generosity of many to help Santa fill his sleigh with toys. For 10 years the Crescenta Valley Armenian Community and Youth Center has made Christmas morning joyful for many kids.

“We asked everyone to bring a toy,” said Sarkis Garabetian, PhD., chair of the Youth Center Outreach Committee.

Youth Center members donated toys to Spark of Love at Glendale Fire Dept. Station 29 in Montrose. But this is not the only way the center reaches out to donate to the community. It has served food at homeless shelters and on Christmas Eve delivered a traditional turkey dinner, along with gifts, to families in need.

Even children and grandchildren of the Early Rodders were ready to donate to Los Angeles County Fire Dept. Station 82.

The mission of the center is to extend help beyond the holiday season. The center’s members are also scheduling several seminars and lectures on a variety of issues, including suicide awareness, bullying and how to prepare for earthquakes.

“Next year we are [hoping] to serve Thanksgiving dinner at our center [for those in need],” Garabetian said.

For more information on the youth center, visit www.cvarmeniancenter.com

Also adding to the Christmas cheer were the Early Rodders, local owners of classic cars and hot rods, who made their way from United Artists Theater in La Cañada to Los Angeles County Fire Dept. Station 82 with trucks full of toys ¬¬– just in time for Christmas.

The group of car enthusiasts has collected toys for Spark of Love for many years. This year was their largest donation with 10 boxes full of toys appropriate for all ages.

Donations came from Early Rodders members and the community; toys were also collected by kids from St. Luke’s of the Mountains Episcopal Church, Fire House and St. Andrew Catholic School.

The collection of toys was organized by Early Rodders member Dwight Sityar.