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How local toy drives are still able to make an impact this year in the midst of a pandemic

Toy Drive

We’re right in the midst of what’s normally the season of giving. With the pandemic, toy drives will be a little different but the need is even greater this year.

News Channel 3’s Caitlin Thropay tells us about some of the local toy drives still happening this year and how they plan to make the process of donating as safe as possible.

“A lot of the parents are working, the children are left home and they’re trying to do their school work," Jeff McDonald, the co-owner of The Roost Lounge in Cathedral City told News Channel 3. "They can’t play with other kids, they can’t play with their friends but one thing that these children do know is that Christmas is coming and I wanted to make sure that no child gets left behind for Christmas,” he added while choking back tears.

The Roost Lounge is collecting toys for children this Christmas.

“We can’t do 12 fundraisers this year because of COVID but I can do three and we have one benefactor which is The Boys and Girls Club of Cathedral City,” McDonald said.

They’re trying to make it as safe as possible for people to donate until December 14.

“We still know that people are leery about going out and feeling safe so there are a couple of different options," he said. "You can call the bar and we will come to your car and pick up the toys. We have several people in the community, DJ Galaxy and others and they will pick up your toys for you, they’ll come to your home,” he said.

The bar is located at: 68718 E Palm Canyon Dr #203, Cathedral City, CA 92234

The number to call is: (760) 507-8495

Another toy drive is happening right now benefitting 56 local families in the Palm Springs Unified School District.

“To select our families we asked principals at every school site in our district to give us the names of two families that they think could really benefit from the gifts this year,” Ruby Rivera, the engagement coordinator for PSUSD told News Channel 3.

“We have enough toys for about half of the families so we’re still looking to find toys for another 30 families," she said.

People looking to donate food or toys can call (760) 416-1374 to schedule a drop off at either the PSUSD Parent Center located at 333 S Farrell Dr. Palm Springs or, Edward L. Wenzlaff Education Center located at 11625 W Drive in Desert Hot Springs. Someone will come to your car to pick up the donations.

“Where we think we’re going to really need to fill in at the end is for the older kids,” she said.

Rivera suggests items teens would enjoy like things for their bedroom, technology or headphones. They’re collecting until December 10.

Also, our own KESQ toy drive in partnership with The California Highway Patrol and Mathis Brothers Furniture is underway and goes until December 18.

Read Article: CHP’s CHiPs for Kids toy drive at Walgreen’s & Mathis Brothers in Indio now underway

“You can donate at any Walgreens in the Coachella Valley as well as our CHP station in Indio,” Jacqueline Quintero, public information officer for CHP said.

It’s just another way to make toy drives more simple and safe this year because of the pandemic.

“We’re just hoping to make it a little easier for these families around the holidays,” Rivera said.

Caitlin Thropay

Caitlin Thropay is the Weekend Morning Anchor and Lifestyle Reporter for KESQ News Channel 3, The Desert’s News Leader. Learn more about Caitlin here.

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