Poverello House still collecting toys to give away this holiday

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Christmas is almost here and the Poverello House is still trying to collect toys to provide a present for kids in need.

Santa's toys came in yellow bags on Tuesday, as local tire company Les Schwab delivered dozens of toys to the Poverello House. "They love it," Les Schwab manager Randy Hecker said. "This is actually one of the funnest things they get to do all year long. We kinds of feel like Santa Claus."

Hecker says employees collected toys to help give kids a merry Christmas this year, and the donation was good news for the Poverello House.

"Right now we're pushing to ask for about 1,500 toys," executive director Cruz Avila said. "That should full the need for those organizations and those families that are coming in to the (Poverello House) that morning."

Avila says the warehouse is normally full of presents this time of year, but it's a little empty just days before Christmas.

And he says more Valley families are turning to the Poverello House for help this holiday."It's been one of the biggest years we've seen families, organizations calling in and asking for toys and those families," Avila said. "We are getting folks calling in from Raisin City, Selma, Parlier, even all the way from Kerman, Mendota, all these rural areas and asking for toys."

Volunteers have started to wrap the gifts they have now, and they said it's those precious faces that inspire them to collect toys. "If you were to be here the day of," Avila said. "It's a sight to see when you see all the joy and happiness on the families' faces when they receive those toys."

Officials are hoping the community will answer the call to help. While they need toys for all ages, the need is greatest for boys and girls 11 and up.

The Poverello House will be accepting toy donations until Christmas eve, on the day of they expect to hand out more than 3,000 toys to kids in need.
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