Each CHP office, including Tracy, is collecting unwrapped new toys for distribution to children from infants to 16-year-olds, according to Tracy CHP spokesman Adam Shelton.
“We’ve been doing the program in excess of 10 years for the kids,” he said. “It’s the holiday season,
and when other kids are getting gifts, it stinks when you’re not one of those kids.”
The program kicked off Monday, Nov. 18, and will conclude at 5 p.m. Dec. 19.
Collection bins are available at the Tracy-area CHP office at 385 W. Grant Line Road, Tracy Ford at 3500 Auto Plaza Way, Banta School at 22375 El Rancho Road, and New Jerusalem School at 31400 S. Koster Road.
Last year, toys collected by New Jerusalem students filled two CHP patrol cars. Principal Don Patzer said he challenged them this year to fill three or even four cars.
“It’s Christmastime and children will go without, so if we can brighten the seasons for a child or two, or 10, we feel it is our responsibility to do that,” Patzer said.
Shelton said the addition of two new collection locations, Banta and Tracy Ford, might help them beat last year’s numbers.
Banta Superintendent Albert Garibaldi said his district is using its phone tree to solicit donations from parents.
“We felt it was a great program and we wanted to get involved,” he said. “Anybody interested (in donating) can drop off a toy at the school or district office.”
During distributions last year, the Tracy CHP office briefing room was transformed into a toy store.
Toy recipients, accompanied into the room by the children of CHP officers, got to pick out toys and a stuffed animal to brighten their holiday.
“It was like walking into a Toys R Us for 5-year-olds,” Shelton said. “You could tell some of these kids never received a gift for the holidays. Not one kid walked out of here with less than five gifts.”
Shelton said items are also needed that would appeal to preteens and teenagers.
Tracy families hoping to receive gifts can call 835-8920 or go at the CHP office between 5 and 9 p.m. Dec. 20 for distribution.
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or email@example.com.