Toys collected during annual drive line the shelves in unique giveaway program.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's Annual Toy Drive enters the fun-filled stage this weekend. Santa Claus will join Sheriff's Department representatives and volunteer elves, as the doors open to the 2007 "Toy Store", where toys and other gifts will be distributed to less fortunate families from throughout the Santa Clarita Valley.
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff Station's "Toy Store" concept is unique, in that it offers less fortunate parents the opportunity to be directly involved with "shopping" for their children's toys, rather than just being given a toy. The idea was developed four years ago and has proved to be a great success, allowing these families to directly take part in the true holiday spirit of giving. This concept also offers the parents the flexibility of choosing an age appropriate toy.
This year's "Toy Store" effort began several months ago when vouchers were issued to virtually every school in the Santa Clarita Valley. The vouchers were then given to families who were determined to be in need this holiday season. The families bring their voucher to the "Toy Store" this weekend, "shop" for a gift, have their children visit Santa Claus and then watch as Santa's helpers secretly wrap the gift to be given to the children on Christmas day. The "Toy Store" offers a fun and festive holiday environment and a unique feeling of giving for everyone involved.
Several residents, businesses, volunteer organizations, and virtually every school district in the Santa Clarita Valley graciously donated toys, bicycles, gift cards, money, wrapping paper and time to make the "Toy Store" possible and bring the true spirit of the holidays to all those who are less fortunate in our community this year.
Last year's "Toy Store" was visited by more than 300 families and 800 children. More than 8,000 toys and gifts were collected and distributed to those in need. "Nothing makes you feel better than helping those in need during the holiday season," said Captain Anthony La Berge. "We are very grateful to all those in the community who make the Toy Store possible year after year."
The College of the Canyons has graciously allowed the Sheriff's Department to use their facilities for this year's store.