CHP plays Santa to hundreds of Southland children.
Santa’s getting a lot of help this year from people with
While they spend their days looking out for the safety of
drivers on the state’s highways, the men and women of the California Highway
Patrol are also collecting toys for their annual CHiPs for Kids campaign.
On Monday morning, despite heavy rain, Officer John Lutz
visited Pinecrest School
in Valencia to
pick up toys collected by students.
“We got for 124 toys from the preschool and 459 from the
elementary students,” Lutz said. “They are definitely one of our biggest supporters.”
Pinecrest Principal Vicki Lopez said that the school has
been participating in the program for about seven years and the kids get really
excited about it.
“The student council really helps build enthusiasm and the
entire school gets involved,” she said. “We have a competition and that helps
the kids get excited.”
This year’s champs were the fifth grade classes, which is
the highest grade at the private school. Lopez said the fourth grade classes
came in second place, so they have already been challenged to meet or beat the
amount of toys collected by the fifth graders.
“We feel it’s important that our children really get an
understanding that not everyone is going to have a happy Christmas,” she
continued. “Some people live in different circumstances and anything we can do
to help, we should do to help, we’re obligated.”
Lutz has already distributed more than 1,200 toys to several
local charitable groups, including the Val Verde Ministries, Carousel Ranch, LA
County Parks and Recreation, Walden Family Services, the county’s Department of
Child and Family Services, Volunteers of America, Newhall Optimist, the county’s
Department of Social Services and the Val Verde Civic Association.
Donations of unwrapped toys may still be made at the CHP's Newhall office at 28648 The Old Road in Valencia.