Even though it was pouring rain at some points Saturday morning, Sunnyvale Community Services (SCS) says its annual Rides for Toys event was a success.
“Despite mother nature’s attempts, the spirit of Sunnyvale came through again and brought several hundred toys to help our holiday center,” said SCS Director of Development and Communications Tom Hamilton.
This year’s Rides for Toys event was held in the parking lot across from the Target in Downtown Sunnyvale. SCS volunteers were joined by members of Sunnyvale’s Department of Public Safety (DPS). Like years past, families who donated an unwrapped toy received a free ride on a fire truck.
“I saw different places and I saw the store we were going to,” said 3-year-old Logan with a grin.
“We wanted to donate toys to Sunnyvale Community Services and it’s a great excuse for the kids to get to ride a fire truck,” said Logan’s mom EJ. Her daughter, 6-year-old Lilianah, says she also enjoyed her first ride in a fire truck.
While the fire truck ride was the main attraction, it didn’t take away from the good cause.
“We’re donating toys because I can only imagine families that aren’t able to afford. We’re lucky enough to be able to give,” said one visitor.
“Despite the weather, we’ve had a constant flow of kids and donations,” said volunteer Ginny Conboy, who has volunteered at SCS during the holiday season for years.
A number of members of Sunnyvale DPS also donated their time. More than 30 officers, Police Explorers, and the DPS support staff showed up in support of the Rides for Toys cause.
“It’s early, but it’s pretty good turnout so far, in spite of the weather,” said Chief Phan Ngo.
While the rain cut the event short by about an hour, there was a festive atmosphere in spite of the weather. There were Star Wars Stormtroopers taking pictures with the kids and Sparky the Fire Dog.
There was also a cookie decorating station hosted by Cub Scout Troop 404.
“It’s the first time I’ve made cookies in the rain,” said Dan Simms with a laugh. Simms was there with his two sons, helping to manage the cookie decorating table.
The donated toys will be handed out to the SCS clientele during the first week of December. Clients of SCS will pick up gifts for their kids and also receive a special gift for the family. SCS will also give families a gift card so they can have something a little extra for the holidays.
If you missed this year’s Rides for Toys, but would still like to donate to Sunnyvale Community Services, you can visit www.svcommunityservices.org for details on how to donate.