Vikings collect items for toy drive

Vikings collect items for toy drive

Examples of gifts brought by students line the front of the boxes located in the main office for the Holiday Toy Drive, which lasts from Nov. 29 – Dec. 17. The toys would be given to Operation Santa and then given to underprivileged children.

In efforts to benefit the needy and underprivileged children during the holiday season, the 25th annual Holiday Toy Drive started on Nov. 29 and continued on through Dec. 17.

“I just want to encourage the public to donate toys,” Kathy Simmons, one of the people in charge of the Toy Drive, said. “All the gifts go to underprivileged children here in the community and our sister city in Mexico.”

The toys can be dropped off at various locations such as the Downey City Hall, Downey Library, Downey Fire Stations, and all Downey Public Schools. Used toys are no longer accepted for the drive. Only new, unwrapped toys are wanted.

“I usually take toys to the Fire Station around the holidays because I think it’s very important,” Senior, Montserrat Rivas said. “I have more than most do so I feel like I need to contribute to my community.”

Even though donations are down a bit this year, approximately 400 gifts are still expected. Over 420 kids will be provided for which is two times are many as last year.

“Toys are a key part of any child’s holiday. Giving to the Toy Drive is a sweet gesture.” English teacher Mrs. Curtis said.

The toys are picked up after Dec. 17 and are distributed to organizations such as Operation Santa, the largest Christmas stocking drive in the nation that benefits American soldiers and their families; Downey Sister Cities Association, which is an organization created to support cities in Mexico; Downey Council PTA H.E.L.P.S. “Christmas Basket Program,” which provides gifts and grocery store gift-cards to low income families.