Toy giveaways spread holiday cheer to thousands of valley children

Toy giveaways spread holiday cheer to thousands of valley children

INDIO, Calif. - An array of toys that could only be rivaled by santa's workshop were ripe for the picking for 5,000 underprivileged valley kids at Coachella Valley Rescue Mission in Indio.  

"People started lining up here yesterday afternoon at 3 o'clock and by last night they were down around the curve," said Floyd Rhoades, Chairman of the Board for the mission. 

Throughout the morning families filed in to their annual toy giveaway, leaving with smiles and something extra to put under the tree.  

"I got some jewelry so I can make, like, bracelets and then give some to my friends and I feel happy about it," said 11-year-old Brianna Rosas, who came to the giveaway for the first time this year.

Rosas says the gifts are a special treat this Christmas for her and her siblings. 

"We don't usually get a lot of presents, we usually get like two, or one, and I really like them," she said.  

"This makes it better?"  

"Yeah, it makes it a lot better," Rosas said. 

One little girl we met said the bike she received will be a gift for her brother.

"Because he doesn't have a bike," said 7-year-old Valeria Martinez.   

Just a few streets away was another toy giveaway at Jordan Outreach Ministries in Coachella. They see about 2,000 children and their families each year.

"Some of these families, the way they live and the poverty they live in, they might not have a gift and they might not get a present.  And they might not get a great Christmas meal without coming here," said Pastor Joe Jordan, founder of Jordan Outreach Ministries.  

Organizers say the look on a child's face when they pick out their toy is what drives them to make these events bigger each year.  

"It's not about anything else you have going on in your life. It's about these moments, these are magic and that's something you can't capture," said volunteer and toy donor Lorenzo Jurado, founder of Bears of Coachella Valley.

"They did a really good job making other people happy, and I hope God blesses them," Rosas said. 

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