Sacred Heart giving toys to more than 6,000 South Bay kids

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- A community-wide effort is underway to make this Christmas one to remember for thousands of kids in the South Bay. Months of planning builds up to the most important moment: picking the perfect toy.

Parents are shopping right now for their kids, but they're not the only ones benefiting. There are 800 volunteers helping out and they're getting a big pay off as well.

Christmas spirit has filled up Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose.

This morning, volunteers sorted gifts for the Toy Box program.

"I definitely feel like I'm doing good and helping spread some holiday cheer," said Cathy Jackson, volunteer.

"Inspiring to see both smiling faces of the families that get toys and also the volunteers who are enthusiastic," said Dave Thompson, Sacred Heart Community Service.

And why wouldn't you be enthusiastic about this? Organizers set it up like a toy store. There are 6,200 kids signed up. Parents like San Jose resident Raquel Franco, get to pick two toys and one book per child.

"Bears for my girls, they love bears. So I know they're going to be so happy," said Franco.

"Are you emotional about this?" asked ABC7's Matt Keller.

"Oh yes, I'm so excited. Yes I am," said Franco.

"Happy to get these things for your kids?" asked Keller.

"Yeah," said Franco.

Raquel has three kids, two girls and a boy. Sacred Heart helps families like hers by taking away one big expense. That can be very helpful in Silicon Valley where some families pay as much 75 percent of their income on housing.

"I'm going to wrap them. We're going to the snow. Have fun for a little bit then come back," said Franco.

"It's going to be a good Christmas," said Keller.

Yes, it is," said Franco.

Sacred Heart is also holding a raffle. There are 900 bikes also being given away, along with helmets.

Sacred Heart says they're still about 2,200 toys short. Click here to donate.
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