GPD Plays Santa

“Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So spread your love everywhere you go.”

—- Mother Teresa

Photo by Mary O’KEEFE
Glendale Police Association and community members delivered presents to families in Glendale and Crescenta Valley, like the Morgan Valantine family pictured here.


This is the season for giving. So many in the Crescenta Valley community give so much to families who are struggling. For many it is not just a chance to hand gifts to children but it is a time to talk to those families that feel they are alone, that like Sisyphus keeps rolling that boulder up the hill only to have it roll right back down.

For these families knowing that someone understands what they are going through and are there to help is important. Last week 18 families in Crescenta Valley and Glendale found they had someone on their side in the form of Glendale police, their families, teachers and Kiwanis members.

It was not enough that the group delivered toys, and other items, to each family or that prior to last week’s delivery they brought a tree to each family so they would have a place to put their packages under. It was just as important that the group spent time with the families.

They knew the kids, their parents and grandparents. They asked them about school and about their friends. Amy Tate, the GPD organizer for the donations, had come to each and every home to interview the family members, getting to know who they were and what they really needed.

Amelia Valantine reacts to receiving a present from Glendale Police Association outreach.

GPD Association worked with many other organizations that donated toys or funds to buy items. Tate thanked those organizations which included, Nova Market, Glendale Federal Credit Union, Bank of America Hollywood/Glendale branches, Mercedes of Glendale, City of Glendale Employees’ Association, Kiwanis of Glendale, A. Robert Kagan and Jean D. Kagan Charitable and Educational Foundation and Coldwell Banker.

In addition to those generous donors, Shannon Kracker, Rosemont Middle School teacher and her seventh grade class donated blankets and socks. Kracker knew some of her students needed help this year and worked with Tate to support them.

And then there was Kiwanis member Randy Slaughter, who brought the Christmas spirit to every house he visited. One family in particular touched his heart, as well as Tate and the other members of the group. Normally they donate to a new family each year but there was one family they wanted to help for a second year in a row. Tate, her family and friends and Slaughter donated money themselves so they could help this family again this year.

CVW joined the delivery last week. The first family had mom Ashley Morgan and her children Makayla and Amelia, along with their grandparents. When the group entered the family’s home Amelia could hardly contain her excitement, jumping up and down as she saw all the presents.

“Look at all of this,” Morgan said to her daughters.

She thanked Tate and the group for everything.

“We were worried there wouldn’t be anything for them under the tree, but look at this,” said Joyce Biggs, the girls’ grandmother.