A team of Merced County public agencies is asking area residents to “Stuff The Bus” with toys for underprivileged children this Saturday.
The Bus will set up from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in the Walgreens parking lot on the corner of G Street and Olive Avenue in Merced. Residents are asked to bring donations of new, unwrapped toys.
Cash donations, new coats and blankets also will be accepted, according to a news release. For those who want to donate but can’t make it to the toy drive, barrels are located throughout the county, the release said.
“The Bus is very excited to participate in the ‘Stuff The Bus’ event again this year,” Transit Manager Rich Green said, in the release. “This is an opportunity to provide gifts for children and teens in need, to help make their holidays a little happier.”
Being able to bring a smile to a young person’s face and fill their hearts with joy through a small act of service, such as giving gifts, makes all the difference.
Sgt. Delray Shelton of the Merced County Sheriff’s Office
The Bus is partnering with the Merced County Sheriff’s Office and the county Human Services Agency for Operation Holiday Toy Drive to benefit children in county this holiday season, the release said.
The effort has helped foster children and less fortunate families of Merced County receive gifts for the past 17 years, according to CJ Jones of the Human Services Agency.
“For many pre-teens and teens, the only gift they get is from our toy drive,” she said in the release.
The pre-teen to teen group, which are those age 9 to 19, continues to be a large percentage of the children benefiting from the program, the release said. Those children tend to like sports equipment, such as soccer balls, footballs, baseballs and bats.
Past drives have collected toys for about 2,000 children and teens.
Toiletry gift sets for boys and girls also are popular, the release said. Past drives have collected toys and other gifts for about 2,000 children and teens.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Delray Shelton said the drive “reaffirms” law enforcement officers’ desire to help people.
“Being able to bring a smile to a young person’s face and fill their hearts with joy through a small act of service, such as giving gifts, makes all the difference,” he said in the release.
All donations will benefit children in Merced County. For more information about the toy drive, call Jones at 209-385-3000, ext. 5285.