Donors can pick up gift tags and return the unwrapped toys to the following locations.
• Patterson Fire Station No. 1, 344 W.. Las Palmas Ave.
• Patterson Fire Station No 2, 1950 Keystone Pacific Parkway
• U.S. Bank, 13 Plaza
• Tri Counties Bank, 17 Plaza
• Bank of the West, 5 Plaza
• Oak Valley Bank, 20 Plaza
• City Hall, 1 Plaza
• Bellissima, 19 S. Del Puerto Ave.
Cash donations can be made by sending a check to Patterson Volunteer Association Toy Drive, Fire Station No. 1. For information: Travis Nuckolls, 535-7759.
Local firefighters, police officers, clubs, organizations and individuals are all working towards one goal this week — to collect toys for 700 children in need locally.
That’s nearly twice as many kids as were helped last year.
“I’m certainly hopeful at this point,” Travis Nuckolls said at a recent City Council meeting. “But the bottom line is we need more toys.”
Toys will be distributed Dec. 16 at Fire Station No. 1 for those who have previously signed up.
Nuckolls, a Patterson volunteer firefighter who has been working on the toy drive for the past two years and for nine years in South San Francisco, where he works, said the local drive was short on toys.
Local folks can stop by Oak Valley, U.S. Bank, Bank of the West, Tri Counties Bank and City Hall, all on the downtown circle to pick up a gift tag listing a child’s request for a toy. They can then return that toy to the barrels in the same businesses.
This weekend, police officers and firefighters in uniform will shop for toys at Target in Turlock using money donated from Patterson Lions Club, Patterson Rotary Club, U.S. Bank and community members.
Nuckolls said there’s a big need for toys for children under age 3 and older than 13. He hopes those who do their holiday shopping this weekend will remember to pick up an extra toy for the underprivileged children in the community.
Volunteers will pack toys at 6 p.m. Dec. 15 at Fire Station No. 1, 344 W. Las Palmas Ave., and help is always needed.
“We’re calling out to individual service groups,” Nuckolls said. “We need bodies, and we need manpower.
“Typically it takes two hours to sort. It’s really a festive event — we play holiday music, and we provide refreshments.”
That evening, volunteers will separate the toys into age-appropriate piles. Volunteers will then take the individual shopping list for each child and try to match as closely as possible with what the child wants. All family information is confidential, and only the child’s first name and what they want are listed.
Jonathan Schali, another volunteer firefighter working on the project, said he is sure the community will come through.
“With the response we got last year from the community, it gave us the opportunity to enlarge our ability to give more toys out this year,” Schali said.
n Contact Maddy Houk at 892-6187 or firstname.lastname@example.org.