Tis’ the season that boxes and bows appear at the door and under the tree, but for some families that is not the case. With that in mind, over 100 elementary school students and parents arrived with packages and holiday spirit in tow for the third annual Jingle Toy Run on Friday, Dec. 7 at Abby Reinke Elementary School in Temecula.
The Temecula Valley Unified School District put out the call for the toy drive, and for the third year in a row, Abby Reike’s Running Club happily responded with its Jingle Run.
All toys collected will be distributed to “adopted” children and families within the Temecula Valley school district’s boundaries through the “Spark of Love” toy drive along with Riverside County firefighters, the city of Temecula and donations through People Helping People.
According to People Helping People founder Denny Mighell, items such as gift cards for teens, gas cards for families and donations either in check or online through Paypal are most needed in this final week of toy collection.
“Feel free to visit our website and see the families in need. We encourage folks to adopt a family, see what they need and take gifts to them, meet them, and see the joy of helping others have a merry Christmas,” Mighell said.
The 2012 Jingle Toy Run has collected over four Santa-sized sacks of toys.
“This is a fun event where the students bring an unwrapped toy to donate toward local children from the Temecula Valley Unified School District,” Abby Reinke PTA Running Club founder Laura Endsley said. “In return, the students all get their jingle bell necklace and holiday goodies, which they can enjoy after running around our track.”
The event was attended by school principal Christine Boyd.
“It’s a great showing of our students and a worthy cause for the district,” Boyd said.
Children were encouraged to dress in holiday gear.
“We saw Santa hats, elf ears, and even a Rudolf nose and antlers,” said Endsley who dressed for the occasion to show her holiday spirit.
“It’s the least we can do to help those less fortunate than ourselves and remind the kids that it’s not about the getting this holiday season, but about the giving,” Endlsey said.
Suzanne Ramirez, who brought her kids out for the day, added: “It was a great holiday activity to teach the kids about giving to others less fortunate.”
Toy collection for People Helping People ends by Dec. 15.
Donations locations are available online at www.tvphp.org.
Ashley Ludwig is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.