CHP holds annual Christmas toy drive: 'We're excited to be back in the community'

·2 min read

Dec. 2—After Chips for Kids took a year off because of the pandemic, local California Highway Patrol officers were back out in the community on Thursday collecting brand-new Christmas toys for needy children.

Officer Robert Rodriguez pointed to a bus from the Kern High School District parked at the corner of 28th Street and Chester Avenue.

"We're looking to stuff that thing," he said.

Tim Little, a recent transplant to Texas after being laid off, was back in town visiting family when he saw the call for toys. He went by Walmart and picked up a toy for a little girl and a toy for a little boy. During Christmas, it was a tradition to contribute to toy drives to make sure that every child had something to open up. He considers himself and his wife blessed, so they always tried to find ways to contribute to the community.

"I'll always be from Bakersfield," he said.

Most of the toys donated for younger children. But Good Samaritan also contributed perfume, makeup and skin care items for older girls, according to spokeswoman Kelly Gladden. The hospital, Kern Health Systems and others also offered monetary donations.

"There's so many people in need," Gladden said. The toy drive's goal is to "give them a little bit of hope."

The call for brand-new, unwrapped toys brought in a couple hundred toys by mid-morning and some monetary donations that stuffed a stocking. The goal was to bring several thousand, Rodriguez said.

"It's a little bit slower than normal," he said.

He was hoping it would pick up as the day went on. But he said it was just good for the officers to back collecting toys for the 11th year.

"Last year, we did not have our Chips for Kids events because of COVID," he said. "This year, we're excited to be back in the community once again and to help our local children."

You can reach Emma Gallegos at 661-395-7394.

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