BARSTOW • Now that Thanksgiving is over, the holiday season is in full swing and it seems as though Christmas is just around the corner. Some local nonprofit groups are hoping that Christmas cheer can spread to local children who are in need this holiday season. Here's how you can help or apply for a toy for your little one:
Christmas Cops and Kids
Christmas Cops and Kids is run by the Barstow Police Activities League and distributes toys to children throughout Barstow, Grandview, Lenwood, and Hinkley a few days before Christmas.
Unlike other organizations, Christmas Cops and Kids doesn't require an application to receive a toy, said Barstow Police Sgt. Tim Heiden.
"Our goal is to give a toy to as many children as possible," said Heiden.
Heiden said the toy giveaway also gives children a chance to see law enforcement in a positive light.
Cops and Kids is a local, grassroots organization and has to generate all of the funding itself, as well as separate and sort the toys. Donations of both unwrapped toys and cash are appreciated.
This year, volunteers will be collecting toys from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. outside Walmart on Dec. 10 and Dec. 17. Both toys and monetary donations can be taken to the Barstow Police Department at 225 E. Mountain View St. Please make checks out to Barstow P.A.L. Donations are tax-deductible.
Between seven or eight teams will deliver the toys sometime before Christmas.
"The only new toy that a a kid may get is the toy we brought," said Heiden.
Toys for Tots
The local Toys for Tots program is run by officers from the Barstow Marine Corps Logistics Base and gives out toys to children from Barstow, Baker, Hinkley, Lenwood and other High Desert cities, said Gunnery Sgt. Mike Bates.
Last year, 6,700 local kids received toys through the Toys for Tots program, said Bates. Applications for the program are now available at the Social Security office at 720 E. Main St. or through the Barstow Toys for Tots website .
The toys will be distributed at the Barstow Mall on Dec. 19-21. Children are required to have a Social Security Card and proof of identification.
For those wishing to donate to Toys for Tots, toy dropoffs are available at the Barstow Walmart at 621 Montara Rd. and Rite-Aid at 1380 Barstow Rd., and Toys & More at 2586 Mercantile Way. Cans are also available for monetary donations throughout Barstow.
Bates said there will also be two different fundraising nights at restaurants where a portion of the proceeds will go to Toys for Tots. On Dec. 8, Los Domingos at 1520 E. Main St. will be having a fundraiser. Chili's will also have a fundraiser on Dec. 16 at 2808 Lenwood Rd.
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 760-577-6324.