Children’s Fund, a nonprofit serving vulnerable children in San Bernardino County since 1986, has concluded the 30th Annual Celebration of Giving toy drive campaign, and the results demonstrate the generosity of our region.
Nearly 33,605 gifts and gift cards were collected, inventoried, and distributed this holiday season to foster youth and other vulnerable children throughout San Bernardino County. Year after year, more people get involved and donate more gifts than the previous year. Last years’ campaign allowed us to serve 33,000 children.
“Many children in our community go without a gift during the holiday season,” said Dr. Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo, President & CEO of Children’s Fund. “That is just unacceptable to us. With the support of our many donors, we ensure those children are not forgotten.”
Pinedo explains 26% of the children living in San Bernardino County live in poverty. Those families use their limited resources for food, shelter, and basic needs. Often, there isn’t enough left over for holiday gifts.
Pinedo states that “a gift for a child sends them the message that they are valued and gives them the confidence to continue on with hope for the future.”
In order to collect and distribute so many gifts each year, Children’s Fund works with many volunteers and community partners. Organizations that volunteered this year in the toy warehouse include West End Auxiliary of Children’s Fund, Lamar, Union Bank, Lippert, Diversified Pacific, Public Defenders Office, Goodwill, Gateway Youth, Project Life Impact, Aspiranet, Victory Rescue Group, and many individuals.
Children’s Fund also received funding from First 5 San Bernardino, Larry H. Miller Charities, Rite Aid-KidsCents, and other generous donors, plus gifts from families, businesses, clubs, and departments within the county. Spark of Love and the San Bernardino County Fire Department provide truckloads of gifts, and 86 agencies throughout the entire county help distribute them to the children.
“Children’s Fund has made our job more joyful,” stated Mindy Chavez from the Family & Collaborative Services agency at the Ontario-Montclair School District. “They created an opportunity for us to spread cheer and happiness at a time when these families are highly stressed.”
Aiden, an 8 year-old boy from Ontario, agrees. His note to Children’s Fund states, “Thank you for all these nice gifts. You made me feel happy. Merry Christmas.”
It is not too late to get involved. Children’s Fund is still collecting monetary donations to offset the $40,000 needed for the gift cards they provided to the 1,600 foster teens in San Bernardino County. Donations can be sent to Children’s Fund – 348 W. Hospitality Lane #110, San Bernardino County, CA 92408 or can be made on our secure website at www.childrensfund.org.
If you would like to receive information about how you or your organization can get involved in next year’s Celebration of Giving campaign, please contact us at 909.379.0000.