Holiday toy drive expands efforts

first_img“These kids are taking care of their moms, and they don’t have chance to be children,” Markell said. “So to have toys at Christmas time, these kids can be children.” [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3024160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WHITTIER – For the past six years, local volunteer Chris Rodriguez and Uptown Whittier chiropractor Sheila Harrod have held a holiday toy drive for abused children and needy families in East Los Angeles. Harrod waives her co-payments – which range from $10 to $25 – for patients who bring in toys for the Bienvenidos Family Services center in East Los Angeles, while Rodriguez helps distribute them to the center’s children. But this holiday, Rodriguez and Harrod are dreaming bigger. They’re raising toy donations for two additional nonprofit groups – Angel Step Inn in Pico Rivera, and Maryvale in Rosemead. “These children are going through hard times. They can’t fend for themselves,” Rodriguez, 41, said. “Most of these kids, they’ve never had a Christmas. … We’re trying to get them two gifts each this year.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Angel Step Inn serves battered, substance-addicted women and their children, while Maryvale offers residential treatment programs for girls. Bienvenidos Family Services offers support programs for needy families. Rodriguez, a Pico Rivera resident, is soliciting more Whittier doctors to give up their patient fees in exchange for a child’s gift this holiday. Toy drive organizers also need the public’s support to meet their goal of collecting 500 gifts for children. Most donations traditionally come in just before Christmas, but if donations are made sooner, “I know we could get more,” Rodriguez said. The toy drive began this week and will continue through Dec. 23. Organizers are collecting gifts for newborns through teenagers. Lisa Markell, director of public relations at Angel Step Inn, said Christmas gifts will invoke joy in children who have become “parentified.” last_img read more

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