Wrapping Up Our 2020 Toys for Tots Distributions
During the week leading up to Christmas, PSCDC staff in different regions of California were working hard to provide some joy and toys to our residents during the holiday season. Every year we partner with Toys for Tots, a program run by the United States Marine Corps since 1947, to distribute toys to children whose parents cannot afford to buy them gifts for Christmas. Despite the unprecedented and difficult situations of last year, the Marine Corps' immense support and dedication to their mission was what made our Toys for Tots distribution possible last year. In 2020, PSCDC families in San Diego County, Imperial County, and the City of San Leandro participated in a Toys for Tots distribution, resulting in a total of about 974 kids receiving a present last year.
In San Diego, Diego Espinoza, our new Director Services for San Diego, worked with his Resident Services Coordinators to provide 224 kids over eight properties with toys donated by the Toys for Tots organization. Due to COVID, San Diego distributions looked a little different last year. In order to keep the large volume of distributions safe and effective, we have partnered with DoorDash to help transfer and deliver toys to the doorsteps of our San Diego residents.
Our Director of Services for Imperial County, Luz Vallejo, also worked with her Resident Services Coordinators to collect the Toys for Tots registration forms and distribute toys for her families in the Imperial Valley. In 2019, about 450 children were registered for the Toys for Tots program by their parents. In 2020 however, about 700 children throughout 18 PSCDC properties were registered to the program, a large increase compared to previous years. In order to provide enough toys, we were also fortunate enough to be gifted additional toys. Our PSCDC team received gift cards from our partners at local ALDI Grocery Stores, which were used to purchase more toys. Other generous individuals also donated their own purchased toys for our young residents. The extra donations provided us with more than enough toys to give to the families who were not able to sign up for Toys for Tots. The toys were distributed during our food distributions across Imperial County, with young residents not being the only ones to receive gifts. The Imperial Valley Food Bank provided our residents with $43,000 worth of gift cards for their groceries and food supplies! Last year, the Imperial Toys for Tots distribution resulted in gifts for all our residents!
Last year, our residents in Lakeside Apartments in San Leandro also participated in their own Toys for Tots distribution. While taking proper precautions and the community's safety in mind, Haydee Pelayo, our PSCDC Resident Services Coordinator at Lakeside, provided over 50 toys to her residents. There were toys for all age groups and children entered the community room one at a time to pick a toy they liked, take a picture, and received candy canes. Two skateboards and a scooter were also able to be raffled off to three lucky residents! The toy distribution was a fun event that closed 2020 and brought optimism for the new year.
Our PSCDC staff and residents are extremely grateful for the gifts that the Toys for Tots organization, individual donors, and local partners provided last year!