The Santa Clarita Valley Chapter of Junior Chamber International and several other local nonprofits are hosting their annual Santa’s Helpers toy drive to help families in need this Christmas.
This year, Junior Chamber International has partnered with the Child & Family Center, Single Mothers Outreach and the Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley to help put on the toy drive.
Approximately 250 children from the Santa Clarita Valley will receive gifts from Santa Claus on Dec. 12 at a Christmas party at the Ice Station Valencia.
They will also enjoy pizza, cake, face painting, crafts, ice skating and pictures with Santa Claus.
Ice Station Valencia is located at 27745 North Smyth Dr.
The setup for the event started during the summer, with a triathlon held by the Paseo Club on Aug. 28, with all funds going to Santa’s Helpers.
In addition, Junior Chamber members were at the “Burrito Bowl” event handing out Christmas candy and raising awareness of the upcoming toy drive.
“Santa’s Helpers is all about helping those less fortunate than ourselves, the very essence of Christmas and community spirit,” said Chris Kahan, president of the local chapter. “We make sure every child who attends gets the best possible Christmas experience.”
Last year, Santa’s Helpers expanded the drive to help clients of the Bridge To Home homeless shelter and at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center.
This year, the group plans on helping both organizations and expanding the drive further by helping as many of the Santa Clarita Valley’s non-profits as possible.
The group will also be doing a coat and sock drive for Bridge To Home.
In order to make all of the events successful, Junior Chamber International is looking for assistance from the community.
Toy donation boxes will be placed through various business around town, however sponsors are also needed to help pay for the event.
Unlike other drives, Santa’s Helpers helps children up to the age of 18; they provide gift cards to teenagers so the teens don’t miss out on Christmas too. All of the toys are given to local children within the Santa Clarita Valley.
Individuals can volunteer in preparation for the events, as well as at the parties. Youth in the Santa Clarita Valley needing service hours are welcome to volunteer at the events leading up to the ice skating party.
For more information about event sponsorship, volunteering or other ways to be involved, email the 2015 Santa’s Helpers team, Nate and Shauna Criner, Caren Kahan and Rebecca DeLuca.