Spark of Love distributes toys to needy Inland Empire families

Sunday, December 18, 2016
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Hundreds of kids received toys in Ontario thanks to the Spark of Love toy drive.

ONTARIO, Calif. (KABC) -- Hundreds of families lined up in Ontario to receive toys for underprivileged children thanks to the Spark of Love toy drive.

For weeks viewers and volunteers helped ABC7 and local firefighters collect toys and sporting gear for local kids and stuff buses to deliver them.

On Sunday, many of those toys were distributed to needy Inland Empire families, as chosen by schools and fire departments.

"I'm a single parent," said Isella Mercado, one of more than 1,000 people who received donated toys. "This helps me give them little extra gifts, toys -what I can't really give them."

"For your kids, the sacrifices you do for them, it's always worth it," she added. "The payoff is their smile. It's priceless."

Capt. John Sitar with the Ontario Fire Department said participating in the drive helps to pay back some kindness his own family received when he was a child.

"I remember as a young child getting toys from my parents, but I can remember them talking about we got these toys from church or we got them from the fire department," Sitar said. "So it strikes home for me."

The warehouse that served as Santa's workship was donated by Mike Po.

"I've been doing it for 17 years and it's great," Po said. "I enjoy it. I do it for the community all the time. It's awesome."

Toys were also handed out at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

Donations of money and toys can still be made to Spark of Love. Information is available here: