The sixth annual Playa del Rey Toy Drive will not only be collecting toys for the Childrens Hospital Los Angeles this year, but will be accepting items for the “Calling all Dog Lovers Holiday Bed and Blanket Collection” to benefit local animal shelters, as well as donations for the Playa del Rey Neighbors fund to purchase speed bicycles with locks and helmets for kids age eight to 17.
Organizer Pam Stacey said the event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, December 5th at Triangle Park on Waterview Street, between Trask and Earldom avenues and Pershing Drive in Playa del Rey.
Stacey said this would be the third year that Los Angeles City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who represents the 11th District, will attend the event.
No stuffed animals will be accepted because these children may have allergies from compromised immune systems, but unwrapped safe toys and books in their original packaging of any value are appreciated, said Stacey.
The public is encouraged to donate gift certificates from Target, Walmart or grocery chains for the “Holidays from the Heart” program. The neediest families served by Childrens Hospital are chosen to benefit from the public’s support, which can help them enjoy the holidays, perhaps for the first time, she said.
Whitney Nifong of Childrens Hospital told Stacey that every child admitted to the hospital receives a toy for each week they remain as an inpatient, and the average stay is approximately two weeks to a month. “That results in almost 500 toys per week, not counting the holiday needs,” she said.
“More than 70 percent of our patient population is impoverished,” Nifong said. “For many of our families, a gift card will provide groceries or personal care items. The family may be able to afford bus tokens to visit their loved one at the hospital simply because they could buy necessary items with the gift card.”
Information, click on “Giving, toys (gift cards)” at www.childrenshospitalla.org/.
For the Holiday Bed and Blanket Collection, the coordinators are requesting blankets, comforters (no pillows), towels, dog sweaters, leashes, dog and/or cat food (cans and unopened/sealed kibble) and metal bowls.
For more information, firstname.lastname@example.org/.
In case of rain, please drop off cat and dog items at 8675 Falmouth Ave., parking gate #3 in Playa del Rey.
This year’s Playa del Rey Toy Drive is sponsored in part by Jane St. John and Carli Vandervort of ReMax Beach Cities Realtors, with support from Starbucks in Marina del Rey and Bristol Farms in Westchester, Stacey said.
Questions and information, Pam Stacey at (310) 305-1787.
In case of rain, please come to 7528 Whitlock Ave., two blocks from the park toward the beach on Waterview Street in Playa del Rey.