With big smiles and open arms, Central Coast kids received presents as an early Christmas celebration sponsored by local non-profits.
The Christmas spirit and holiday cheer was made possible for local youth at the Childrens Resource Network's Annual Toy Giveaway that took place in Pismo Beach Saturday morning.
Hundreds of families lined up to get free toys and school supplies from one of more than 30 volunteers from the non-profit partnership between the Childrens Resource Network (CRN) and the California Highway Patrol's CHiPS for Kids.
The event started at 8 a.m., but according to CRN's Central Coast Chapter Founder and CEO, Lisa Ray, cars began lining up as early as 5 a.m.
“We had a feeling we would have more families this year because of COVID and families that have been affected by loss of employment. We anticipated to have a larger group this year,” Ray said.
Typically, their event takes place as a walk-thru, but this year with the pandemic, they changed it to a drive-thru.
Annie Chase, a participant, says it's events like these that bring the spirit of Christmas alive.
“It’s about the memories yes, but you also want [kids] to feel like they have enough, and they are enough and this is giving them the opportunity to feel that way and [to feel] full of joy on Christmas and that’s awesome,” Chase said.
Volunteer Tiffany Rice said she hopes this event brings a little joy as we near the end a difficult year.
"It's so hard right now with the coronavirus going on and people without jobs, and this is probably going to give them a Christmas that they wouldn't have gotten before. It's just amazing," Rice said.
Childrens Resource Network will have another Toy Giveaway Sunday, December 20th, behind the San Miguel Mission from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
According to its website, the event is open to the public and any family in need. Children must be present in the vehicle to participate.
If you would like to attend or donate to the event, you can visit their website here for more information.