Annual holiday giveaway taking place in Richmond

December 22, 2010 12:30:38 PM PST
Thousands of needy families are feeling the Christmas spirit in Richmond. Firefighters and police officers are giving out toys, food and more at their annual holiday giveaway.

The giveaway began at 8:00 Wednesday morning and will go until 6 p.m. inside the YMCA on 20th Street in Richmond. There are enough foods and toys for about 6,000 people.

"You never know if you're going to get something like a bicycle, or checkerboards - you never know," said Richmond resident Steve Martinez.

"Hot Wheels, Barbie dolls - everything the kids would want," said Richmond firefighter Rod Woods.

Woods has been organizing this event for 23 years. He says somewhere around 6,000 parents and children were registered for this giveaway a couple months ago, no walkups allowed.

"The need is much greater, we have some families actually that are in line that gave to the program in the past and now they are in line because they are in need," said Woods.

And one of those in line and in need is Betty Giddens.

"I'm a single parent with four kids and I'm here to help my kids out so they can have a good Christmas," said Giddens.

Priscilla Gonzales knows what all this means for her family.

"It means a good Christmas because we weren't going to have one without it," said Gonzales.

"This is great we have so many great volunteers helping us out. This is a really nice day," said Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus.

Outside waiting in the line for hours for her chance at Christmas is Arianna Chavez who knows all the ingredients needed for a perfect Christmas are here today.

"Some food and some presents and a Christmas tree," said Chavez.

"How does that make you feel?" asked ABC7's Terry McSweeney.

"Happy," said Chavez.

All the food and toys were donated by the community and some big players such as Chevron, BP and Walmart.


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