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San Dimas church treats kids to free toys for Christmas

December 18, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
The spirit of giving is alive and well in Southern California as Christmas comes early to hundreds of kids in need. A local church invited those deserving children to visit a special toy store where the gifts are free.

"To me, it means that they're able to get something new because I can't afford to buy them everything that they ask for," said parent Heather Brown of La Verne.

Christ's Church of the Valley in San Dimas opened up its doors Tuesday to 800 families in need from five school districts. Izzy Farrach and his wife both have cancer, so providing toys for their boys is financially tough.

"I set up their little Christmas tree, because I don't know what my condition will be during the holidays. I set it up early, and of course, the church and the gifts that they're receiving here add more to the blessings that we have been receiving," said Farrach.

Pastor Jaime Mendoza says in the wake of last week's deadly shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., this event is especially meaningful. He says it wouldn't be possible without hundreds of volunteers.

"What the toy store means to all of us is a sense of hope, a hope that there are people who care," said Mendoza.

Mendoza said more than 3,000 toys were donated by members of the church. Each present is individually gift wrapped so every kid gets an opportunity to open up a present on Christmas morning.

The children get to sit with Santa, witness a live Nativity Scene, eat a free meal and roast s'mores for dessert. For everyone there, the event makes the holidays just a little bit sweeter.


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