During the first three weeks of December, thousands of toys and other gifts were delivered to a cold store in San Bernardino, to be prepared for distribution to children in need in San Bernardino County.
The toys were collected as part of the Children’s Fund’s annual Celebration of Giving toy drive, and volunteers, wearing coats, hats, gloves and masks, spent time in the warehouse cataloging, sorting , take note of wishes and collect shopping carts filled with specifically requested products. toys for organizations, preschools, county organizations and churches.
“For some children, the only gift under the tree this year will be a celebration of the gift of a toy from the Children’s Fund,” Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo, President and CEO of the Children’s Fund, said in a press release. . “With the vital support of our donors, we are making sure that they are not forgotten.”
During this year’s campaign, 60,000 toys, valued at nearly $ 1 million, were collected.
Children’s Fund has facilitated the Celebration of Giving toy drive for 33 years, and for the past 15 years, First 5 San Bernardino has been a major funder of the Children’s Fund organization. First 5 San Bernardino also donated $ 50,000 each year to ensure children from birth to 5 years old have gifts for Christmas.
“For a child not to have a Christmas present would be devastating,” Karen Scott, executive director of First 5 San Bernardino, said in the statement. âFeeling love is essential for the health and well-being of a child, and we are very proud to partner with Children’s Fund to make the holidays special for young children in the county. “
Among the organizations that received toys from the Children’s Fund this year was Set Free Church in Highland. Church members Joly and Jesse Ramirez recently came to the warehouse to rent a truck full of toys to distribute at the church’s Christmas Extravaganza event.
âWe really appreciate that. So many low income families are in need and they are suffering, âJesse Ramirez said in the press release.
More than 30 volunteers and nine full-time staff are helping set up the toy operation, including Amy Pond Cirelli, Children’s Fund Program Coordinator.
âManaging the Celebration of Giving warehouse is the highlight of my year,â Cirelli said in the press release. âKnowing that so many children will be happy on Christmas morning, well, that’s a great feeling. “
Children’s Fund is a non-profit organization whose mission is to give vulnerable children support, opportunity and hope by breaking cycles of destruction through community partnerships. Last year, the Children’s Fund provided more than 110,000 services to children in need in San Bernardino County, according to the press release.
For more information on Children’s Fund, visit childrensfund.org or call 909-379-0000.
The goal of First 5 San Bernardino is to improve the lives of children from birth to age 5 by giving them the best possible start in life. It is funded by the 1998 voter-approved California Children and Families Act (Proposition 10, tobacco tax revenues).
For more information on First 5 San Bernardino, visit First5SanBernardino.org.