Annual Toy & Book Drive kicks off with calls for community support

in Community

The Redwood City & San Mateo County Toy & Book Drive is revving up to bring holiday cheer to local children and families in need, many of whom are facing extremely challenging times amid the global pandemic. This year, a whole host of organizers are collaborating to continue this annual tradition, while also adjusting it to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines, but their efforts will only be successful with the community’s help.

To that end, organizers are seeking donations for the Toy & Book Drive, which can be given in a variety of ways: Businesses can request a toy and book collection barrel to place onsite or sign up for a corporate sponsorship; anyone can offer a monetary donation to support the effort; or community members can place a new toy or book in any of the local collection barrels.

Aside from being placed at local businesses, toy and book barrels will also be located at all Redwood City Fire Stations, the Redwood City Police Department, Woodside Fire Department, San Carlos Fire Department, The Fair Oaks Community Center, The Redwood City CHP Office and associated San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office facilities or buildings.

With an eye toward COVID-19 safety measures, this year’s Toy & Book Drive has been “redesigned for social distancing and safety,” per organizers. “This year families will be personally picking up their presents from Santa Claus at a designated location and time,” with the location being decorated in the spirit of the holidays and “uniformed law enforcement officers, firefighters and volunteer personnel” on hand to spread joy.

Families wishing to be added to the Toy and Book Drive list can check this page where a link to apply will be coming soon.

In 2019, more than 50 local businesses filled 60 donation barrels with over 12,000 toys as part of the Toy & Book Drive, ultimately providing gifts to approximately 500 families in need.

For this year’s Toy & Book Drive, the Redwood City Police and Fire Department, Police Activities League, and Parks Recreation and Community Services are collaborating once again with The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Activities League, San Carlos Fire Department, Woodside Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, Redwood City 330 Squad Club, and the CARON Project to spread seasonal cheer to the less fortunate in the Redwood City and San Mateo County community.

For more info about the Toy & Book Drive, click here or contact: Police Officer Jesse Castro (650) 780-7104, Fire Fighter Joshua Williams (650) 780-7400 or Sergeant Hector Acosta (650) 257-3400.