Toy drive receives Christmas miracle

December 25, 2008 12:21:08 AM PST
A well-known last-minute toy drive in San Francisco's Union Square was not doing as well as last year, until someone heard the calls for help.

Update:
Sometimes there really are Christmas miracles.

Earlier Wednesday evening ABC7 aired a story about the annual Lefty O'Douls toy drive, and how far behind it was in donations.

After that, Keven and Susan Braden who saw the story, showed up at the venerable San Francisco restaurant with 1,000 badly needed toys.

"It's Christmastime and we all know what Christmas felt like when we were waiting for Santa to come down the chimney. I feel good kids are going to wake up tomorrow and have some toys," said Kevin Braden.

San Francisco Firefighters are helping distribute the gifts to some of the city's neediest kids.

If you want to help, the restaurant on Geary Street near Union Square is accepting donations until 2 a.m.

Original story:
The eighth annual Christmas Eve toy drive at Lefty O'Doul's restaurant aims to collect enough toys for the 7,000 needy children in San Francisco.

The toy drive had received about 2,000 presents by lunchtime, compared to the 3,500 hundred donated by noon last year, said toy drive spokesman Lee Houskeeper.

"We are nervously low at this hour," Houskeeper said around 12:30 p.m.

"I can't imagine a child without a toy ... on Christmas morning," Houskeeper said.

He speculated that today's cold and rainy weather have prevented many last-minute shoppers from hitting the Union Square stores. The economy may also be a factor, he said.

Houskeeper pointed out that drivers who don't want to pay for expensive parking can pull over to the curb outside Lefty O'Doul's and give the donation to a curbside volunteer.

"Pay for toys, not parking," he said.

Lefty O'Doul's is located at 333 Geary St., near Powell Street.

The drive began at 7 a.m. today and lasts until 2 a.m. Thursday, Houskeeper said.

www.leftyodouls.biz

Bay City News contributed to this report.


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