17 Days of Christmas: Bakersfield Homeless Center gives more than 1,000 toys to homeless families

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – We’re wrapping up our annual 17 Days of Christmas and toy drive. On Monday, the Bakersfield Homeless Center gave the toys you’ve donated to homeless families.
The center had more than a thousand toys to give, each one bringing hope to a child in need.

“Today is the day, we’re going to be letting our families come through,” said Louis Gill, CEO of Bakersfield Homeless Center. “They’re going to be picking out toys for their children, so that on Christmas morning all our kids are cared for.”

A small toy goes a long way for these families.

“Me and the staff are so grateful that we have the opportunity to give them some type of hope because we know they’ve been through so much trauma,” said Marc Casica, a supervisor at the center. “It’s going to give them a sense of hope that they probably haven’t experienced in a while.”

This year – the children can choose from more than a thousand toys.

“This is an amazing place to live, when you ask for help people show up,” Gill said. “And once again during an incredibly difficult time, children and parents who are worried for their children have nothing to worry about.”

With COVID – the giveaway is slightly modified so that only a couple families are in the room at once. But the homeless center says everyone will get their turn.

“We like to make sure that every kid gets something,” Casica said. “That they still have a sense of normalcy despite being homeless.”

Thanks to all our viewers who donated – these families can have a happy holiday.

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