Hundreds of families got an early morning wake up call Sunday. Officers with the California Highway Patrol were handing out gifts for their annual CHiPs for Kids holiday fundraiser.
“I heard the police putting songs. At first, I thought it was someone else, but then I saw the car and he came by and he told me they were giving out toys,” Star Lopez, one of the gift recipients said.
Lopez’z mom, Maria Mendoza, said it was a blessing to find CHP officers distributing Christmas presents in her Desert Hot Springs neighborhood.
“We can’t really get them gifts. I’m not working and my husband just gets for the rent and food and clothes. It’s not enough for the gifts,” said Mendoza.
CHP Officer Mike Radford has been coordinating the giveaway for the past five years. He and other officers deliver gifts to thousands of children all over the Coachella Valley.
“Some of these people won’t be receiving any other toys. The fact that we can come out here and do that for them makes us feel great and it’s just an awesome thing to do,” Radford said.
Kids received a wide variety of gifts, from soccer balls to baby dolls.
“I’m excited, because I really want to play with it (baby doll) and I never got a toy like that,” Lopez said.
It was all made possible by Valley locals who donated toys to the CHiPs for Kids toy drive.
“It’s a simple little gift but it means a lot to me cause you’re getting it for free and it’s special,” said another gift recipient.