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Local Toy drive lends a helping hand to families affected by the California fires

Ruth's Chris Steak House and Cal Fire's station #55 in Indian Wells shared some holiday cheer as they celebrate their second annual toy drive on Friday December 13th.

The drive is to help collect toys to donate to families who have lost their homes to fires in California. Cal Fire's Apparatus Engineer, Victor Ceballos, expressed how fires are a tragic event to those affected.

"Well its very tragic first of all and its an occurrence that we are starting to see more and more today with all the big emergencies going on in California and even here locally,"said Ceballos.

According to Cal Fire, this year over five thousand fires have been recorded within the state. Fire officials expressing how hard it's to witness residents lose everything.

"Routinely, We see people go through a structure fire or a vegetation fire or we lose entire communities," said Ceballos. "Its really hard to see the faces of people, and kids and families that have to start over."

Fire authorities said its more than just a home residents are losing.

"People are losing not just their material things but they are losing memories, they are losing life long possessions that they have had their kids pictures and that's the hardest things to ever see is for people," said Ceballos.

For Devon Parisi, who grew up in Anaz, said she had more of incentive to give as she remembers the devastating fires that hit Idyllwild last year.

"I did actually have some family members that were affected but it was only temporary so lucky everything is fine but I think its great to do that for people because its unfortunate that people lose everything in a fire," said Parisi.

She's hoping her toy will make a difference for those affected by the fires.

"Fortunately nobody lost homes that i knew but people were out of electricity for weeks and it was a pretty crazy time so its good that Ruth's Chris so involved in the community," said Parisi.

The toy drive is associated with Spark of Love, who is holding these collection opportunities across the state. They will distribute the toys to the families affected.

Ruth's Chris Steak House's will continue to accept donations of unwrapped toys or non perishable food items to honor the families and children in need this holiday season.

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Dani Romero

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