Archived News Release from 2003
For Immediate Release
With "Down" Economy, Redwood
City PAL, Police, and Fire Seek More Help With 2003 Toy and
Redwood City, CA - November 21, 2002
- The holiday season should be a time of joy, happiness,
family, and friendship. Unfortunately, there are local kids
and families in need who often don’t have the opportunity
to share in the spirit of the holidays. And, with the economic
situation today, donations and contributions to charitable
causes are not at the levels of past years. So it’s
even more important than ever for people and businesses to
help others enjoy the holiday season.
For over 15 years, the Redwood City Police Activities League
(PAL) Christmas Toy and Book Drive has brought the holiday
spirit right to the doorstep of many needy families. In conjunction
with the Police Officers Association and Firefighters Association,
and with a great deal of help from the Fair Oaks Community
Center and a corps of volunteers, this annual event has become
a welcome tradition in Redwood City. It will continue to be
successful, with the help of more volunteers, with donations
of toys, books, and funds, and with the hard work of the dedicated
coordinators of the program.
Over the years, the program has grown dramatically and enjoyed
great success – just last year, 50 local businesses
filled 80 donation barrels with 11,000 toys, and provided
them to about 500 needy families. Deliveries even take place
with Santa Claus in a police car or a fire engine arriving
at the home to hand out the presents, giving the kids a holiday
thrill they’ll long remember (they quickly get over
the fact that Santa didn’t come down the chimney!).
One thing that makes this program special is the collection
and distribution of new and gently used books as well as toys.
Each child served receives two gifts, a book, a stuffed animal,
and several stocking stuffers, all of which bring that holiday
sparkle to their eyes.
It’s the volunteers and donations that make this event
happen each year. Businesses are asked to place donation barrels
at their sites; individuals and families are encouraged to
donate new, unwrapped toys and books; and volunteers are asked
for their time and energy for ‘wrapping parties’
where everyone takes part in preparing the gifts for the kids,
from gift wrapping, to ‘quality control,’ to helping
with food and drinks.
Two wrapping parties are scheduled: Thursday, December 11
and Monday, December 15, both at 6:00 pm, at 430 Broadway
(The old Excite at Home building.) Drop-in volunteers are
welcome. Volunteers are also needed to pick up food, toys,
and books, put together family packages, load up Santa’s
‘sleigh,’ actually help with home delivery, and
more. This is a great opportunity to help bring a smile to
a child's holiday season.
Donations of toys and books may be made at any collection
barrel, or at City Hall, the Police Department, the Main Library,
or any fire station.
Equally important are the volunteer efforts and contributions
of people and businesses in our community. Individuals that
would like to make a monetary donation, businesses that would
like a collection barrel, or anyone wishing more information
may contact Officer Rasmussen at the number above.
Visit Redwood City’s website at www.redwoodcity.org
for information about the City and its services, the community,
recreation programs, education, and City government. The Redwood
City Police Department website is www.redwoodcity.org/police.
Officer Chris Rasmussen
Redwood City Police Department