By Carol Rock/KHTS AM1220 and Austin Dave/SCVNEWS.com
Pinecrest Schools in Valencia got their Santa on Friday morning, filling a California Highway Patrol car with toys for local children as part of the CHiPs for Kids program.
The sounds of sirens punctuated the cool December air as the black and white unit drove in to collect the toys.
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An assembly of smiling student council representatives encircling a large collection of toys greeted the car as it passed the perimeter of their campus.
Officer John Lutz, spokesman for the Newhall area California Highway Patrol office, said that the school’s generosity is always a highlight of the season.
“They donated more than 200 toys, including three bicycles,” he said. “The kids liked it.” Lutz and his chipmunk “CHiPper” thanked the crowd and visited room-to-room, giving the elementary students high fives for their efforts in accumulating a considerable mass of gifts.
“CHiPs for Kids” is a statewide toy drive with a goal of collecting the delivering donated toys to kids and families in need. On average, they receive more than 100,000 toys annually.
Gifts collected are distributed to children in the Newhall area through a variety of agencies, including the L.A. County Department of Child and Family Services, the Department of Social Services, Walden Family Services, Overflowing Blessings Ministries in Val Verde and Carousel Ranch.
“We get a lot of support from the Stevenson Ranch homeowners association too,” Lutz added. “They give us gift cards and we can go shopping at ToysRUs and get some good deals for the kids.”
Toys will be collected until December 23 and can be dropped off during normal business hours at the Newhall CHP office at The Old Road near the junction of Highway 126 in Valencia.