Glide Memorial Church hands out 8,000 toys

December 20, 2011 12:18:39 PM PST
Some of Santa's helpers at Glide Memorial Church are beginning to relax after one very busy morning. The helpers have spent the last few hours making sure thousands of San Francisco children have a gift to open for the holidays.

The families have come and gone, but the line was long and Glide Memorial Church was prepared. Barricades were set up around the building to keep things organized.

The giveaway began at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, but the first family in line arrived Monday at 4 p.m. For children waiting in line, it might as well have been Christmas morning. Children were excited to receive gifts they hope to get, from bikes to sporting equipment.

"We know the economy has hit everybody," said Janice Mirikitani, the founding president of Glide Memorial Church. "We anticipate that there will probably be more people in line for toys this year as there were more people in line for food bags."

"My mom can't really afford it with how she's been, with bills and everything," said one child in line whose mom works in the hospitality industry and has two other children.

Charles Schwab partnered with Glide in order to provide the toys, and individual donations helped as well. In all, Glide gave away 8,000 toys this year and though the line was long, organizers felt confident that no child left empty-handed on Tuesday.

Glide has a Christmas Eve lunch and a Christmas Day dinner to plan for the future.