Feeling the holiday spirit at Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station toy drive

Feeling the holiday spirit at Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station toy drive
Explorer Richard Grandes pushes a cart filled with toys and food while helping a family of five at Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station. Deputies, explorers and volunteers handed out Christmas gifts and bags of food to people in need on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. (Photo by Mike Mullen)

Six-year-old Camilla Lopez timidly walked along a table topped with dozens of dolls — soon one would be hers if she could just find the right one.

She finally settled on a girly doll resembling a baby and gently placed it in a black plastic bag.


The doll was just one of several toys that she and her two sisters received Saturday from deputies at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station, where the holiday spirit was in full swing.

“They are doing good for the kids,” said Camilla's father, Oscar Lopez of Tujunga.


Lopez's family was one of 100 from La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Glendale, Tujunga and Sunland that sheriff's personnel welcomed with toys, two bags of food, a $20 gift card for groceries and a special photograph with Santa.

“We want people to know that the sheriff's department is here and we are doing what we can,” Deputy Jorge Valdivia said.

Tables topped with toys for boys and girls of every age were scattered outside the sheriff's station as holiday music blared through the facility.

Parents strolled through the aisles of tables as their children selected toys, games and sports equipment.


Achieving such a spread of toys wasn't easy and required the support of numerous volunteers and the community, Valdivia said.

A great portion of the dried and canned food — which was given to the families — was collected from the La Cañada Flintridge Community Center and 5K Turkey Trot run. Other donations came from local Kiwanis clubs and the Boy and Girl Scouts.

Sheriff's personnel reached out to local elementary schools from La Cañada to Sunland with help in finding families who need additional assistance this holiday season.

The sheriff's station later sent the families a letter, notifying them that they were selected to receive gifts.

In past years, deputies often delivered the toys to 100 families. But sometimes the families weren't home and the deputies would return to the station with bags of toys, he said.

This year, excess toys will be saved for the next holiday season, and additional food supplies will be donated to local food banks, Valdivia said.

La Crescenta resident Sandra Davis paced alongside her three daughters as they carefully selected toys.

The extra gifts and food, she said, were greatly appreciated because finances have been tight for her family.


“It's beautiful,” she said. “The girls are so happy.”


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