'Miracle on 1st Street' toy giveaway in Boyle Heights celebrates 39th anniversary

Organizers said the toy giveaway was unlikely going to happen because of the pandemic.

Eric Resendiz Image
Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Boyle Heights celebrates 39th year of 'Miracle on First St.' toy giveaway
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Boyle Heights gets ready for its much-anticipated holiday toy giveaway, but in a different way because of COVID.

BOYLE HEIGHTS, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- For nearly forty years, the "Miracle on 1st Street" toy giveaway has been spreading holiday cheer in Boyle Heights, spearheaded by the Hollenbeck Police Business Council.

"The anticipation for this 'Miracle on 1st Street' is like no other, we often compare it to the same anticipation of the Rose Parade," said Priscilla Hernandez, vice president of the Hollenbeck Police Business Council.

In the past, many braved the cold lining up the night before at the Hollenbeck Youth Center for the toy giveaway. At times the line would wrap around the block. But this year because of the pandemic it's looking quite different.

"This year, we have 'Miracle on 1st Street on Wheels' and that's what we did. We're taking it to our clients, we are taking it to our recipients, making sure that you know they continue to have a great holiday but you know, as safely as possible," said Hernandez.

The Hollenbeck Youth Center is looking different this year. Volunteers are working hard to sort the toys with each family wish list and will start delivering the toys on Saturday.

Organizers said, this year's toy giveaway couldn't have happened without Santa's other helpers.

"We absolutely cannot make this miracle happen without support, without individuals, without corporations, without sponsors," said Hernandez. "It really takes a collaboration to make this happen. And this year is no different."

According to organizers, the giveaway was unlikely going to happen because of COVID. But they are happy they found a different way to still gift families a holiday miracle in a safe way.

"We are going to do is. We've already pre-registered hundreds of families," said Hernandez. "This is the toughest time and we want to be there for our community."

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