The Temecula Area of the California Highway Patrol wrapped up its 2012 “CHiP’s for Kids” toy drive on Dec. 21 and reports it has now distributed more than 1,100 gifts to needy kids in Southwest Riverside County.
Partners in the toy drive included the Temecula Area CHP, Pechanga Resort and Casino, Walgreens, Red Robin Gourmet Burger, Temecula Valley Unified School District’s transportation division, Crossroads Church of Temecula, the internet advertising company eLocal Listing LLC, and local residents who donated toys for the event.
CHP Officer Nathan Baer helped coordinate the event and was actively involved in the toy distribution. Here’s what he had to say (and check out the attached photos he sent):
“elocal Listing partnered with us for the first time this year. Ronda Schopper called to let me know she had toys for me to pick up. I was floored when I saw the room full of toys they had collected. They were surrounding a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. I was not sure if the toys were going to all fit, but the staff of eLocal Listing packed the Expedition until there was very little space left.
“The local Walgreens also collected hundreds of toys. I felt like Santa Clause. The toys collected stuffed the Expedition twice. Not to be outdone the staff and employees of Pechanga Resort and Casino stuffed two patrol cars full of toys.
“The Temecula Valley Unified School District’s transportation division dropped off a mound of toys they collected for the toy drive and Red Robin also had a mound for us. I was storing the toys in our office and it looked like Santa’s workshop, it was tough to get through there without tripping.
“Just when I thought I was done collecting toys, Pastor Scott Andersen of Crossroads Church in Temecula called to arrange the delivery of 25 bicycles they were donating to the toy drive. Crossroads Church has donated bicycles to the toy drive for years, and they always donate a lot of bicycles. For some reason 25 bicycles caught me off guard and I blurted out '25' as I was talking to Pastor Scott. I think I surprised him when I yelled '25' in his ear.
“I want to thank the community members who came to the Temecula Area CHP office and filled the toy donation box multiple times. The toys collected will be distributed to hundreds of families, who without the generosity of the community would have had a bleak Christmas with no toys. I want to thank the churches, non-profit organizations, and individuals who donated their time to make sure that these toys reached the local children. Without their help, it would be nearly impossible to distribute all the toys to the families in need. I want to express my gratitude to everyone who donated toys and their time to make this toy drive a huge success. Thank you so very much. --Nathan Baer, CHP Temecula Public Information Officer.”