Youth volunteers from the American Red Cross Santa Monica chapter will be collecting toys and gifts again this holiday season for needy children and teens as part of the annual “Spark of Love Toy Drive” through Friday, December 24th. Red Cross youth will also help Santa Monica firefighters distribute the toys to children in Santa Monica and nearby communities.

American Red Cross of Santa Monica, KABC Channel 7 representatives and Santa Monica firefighters will help collect the toys. As in previous years, a new unwrapped toy or sports equipment can be dropped off at the Santa Monica Red Cross or any Santa Monica Fire Department station.

With the love and support from “Spark of Love Toy Drive” sponsors and a generous public, countless numbers of children in Santa Monica and elsewhere can enjoy a new toy this holiday season, a Red Cross spokesman said. Especially needed are toys, games, books, school supplies and items appropriate for teens.

Santa Monica area families in need can also sign up for the “Spark of Love Toy Drive” to receive toys for their children. Persons needing toys can stop by the chapter during weekday business hours to sign up, which includes providing the number of children in the family and their ages or use the online registration form at www.redcrossofsantamonica.org/.

With the help of its partners, the “Spark of Love Toy Drive” collected over 600,000 toys in the five-county area last year. The goal is to double that number this year, the 17th consecutive year for the drive.

Unwrapped toys can be dropped off during business hours at the Santa Monica Red Cross chapter at 1450 11th St. in Santa Monica; Santa Monica Fire station 121 at 1444 Seventh St.; Station 122 at 222 Hollister Ave. near Second Street; Station 123 at 1302 19th St. at Arizona Avenue; and Station 125 at 2450 Ashland Ave. (south of Ocean Park Boulevard).

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