Thousands of boys and girls in need around the Bay Area may be hoping that Santa will leave presents for them this holiday season, but it is the generosity of strangers that makes their spirits brighter.
The Transit Toy Drive, put on by the San Mateo County Transit District in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots program and the Salvation Army, received 509 new, unwrapped toys and books, a spokeswoman for the district announced.
In San Jose, firefighters with the Los Bomberos of Northern California collected more than 10,000 toys destined for more than 600 families, Fire Capt. Mary Gutierrez said earlier this month.
In greater Santa Clara County, VTA officials said this week that the Stuff the VTA Bus toy drive collected 5,300 toys, which filled two VTA hybrid buses, in a matter of hours.
Although some toy drives have collected literally tons of donations, others, such as one organized by firefighters in Santa Rosa, are still requesting donations.
Organizers of the Santa Rosa Firefighters Local 1401 Toys for Kids toy drive say that this season is challenging because more families are in need.
Firefighters will be collecting donations of new, unwrapped toys at the Santa Rosa Plaza shopping center from noon to 8 p.m. today through Thursday and at any Santa Rosa or Rincon Valley fire station, where collection barrels will be in front of stations through Christmas Eve.
Last Christmas, Toys for Kids provided gifts to more than 12,000 children in need throughout Sonoma County.