San Francisco

Lefty O'Douls Collecting Toys on Christmas Eve Morning For Kids

As it has for 15 years just before Christmas, Lefty O’Doul’s in San Francisco opened up early Thursday morning, hoping to collect thousands more toys for kids in need.

By early morning, organizers, including the restaurant founder's cousin, Tom O’Doul, said the drive could use about 5,000 more toys, especially sports equipment for boys and gifts for tween girls.

He was surrounded by children, Santa and city politicos, including San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White and former Mayor Willie Brown. The goal is to collect between 10,000 to 15,000 unwrapped toys.

Maliek Powell was one of the many children who got to go home with a gift. He shouted in delight: "This is the best day ever."

The young boy left with a stack of stuff and a grin from ear to ear.

Desiree Gutierrez of Richmond received her holiday present early: A marriage proposal right next to the huge Christmas tree in San Francisco’s Union Square. Terry McSweeney reports.

The Lefty O’Doul’s Foundation for Kids was established in loving memory of Frank “Lefty” O’Doul, the namesake of the popular bar and restaurant.

"He was a good person," Tom O'Doul said. "Generous to kids. We're just trying to keep that tradition alive."

To donate, click here. Or toys can be dropped off through Christmas morning at 2 a.m. by driving up to Lefty O’Doul’s Restaurant on 333 Geary Street at Powell Street. Curbside Christmas elves will carry the toys inside.

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