The Spirit of Giving

Dec 4, 2015

The holidays are a time to reflect on our year and give thanks for what we have. They also often bring a desire to give back or “pay it forward” to the less fortunate, a favorite cause or simply participate in little acts of kindness.

This December, please consider giving back to the community with your time, talent or treasure. There are numerous local groups helping to give back by holding collection drives, toy giveaways and fundraisers. While there are numerous worthy causes to donate to, here is a list of some of the local groups holding collection drives this month:

LAPD Toy Giveaway. The LAPD Pacific Division, which serves the Westchester, Playa del Rey and Playa Vista areas, is now collecting toys for its annual Winter Wonderland Toy Giveaway. The event takes place on Saturday, December 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the LAPD Pacific Station, located at 12312 Culver Blvd.(90066).

Hundreds of children line up early at the event to get a turn to pick a toy. Attendees can also get their picture taken with Santa Claus and receive a free lunch while supplies last.

Donations can be dropped at the Pacific Division Station or toy pick-ups can be arranged by calling Officer Darell Matthews at (310) 202-2890.

For more info, please visit


Annual Playa del Rey Toy and Animal Shelter Drive. For the community’s most neighborly toy drive, head on down to Playa del Rey’s Triangle Park, located at Waterview and Trask on Saturday, December 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For the last twelve years, neighbors have gathered in the park to collect toys to benefit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and pet products to benefit SPCALA.

Organizers are looking for new, unwrapped toys or gift cards for grocery stores and Target to give to the neediest families with a child in Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. A list of items that are needed by the SPCALA can be found at

After you donate, you can stick around for coffee and treats, pizza, and raffle prizes.

For more information, please call Jane St. John or Julie Porter at (310) 577-5300 x 303.

Winter Shelter Donation Drive. Councilman Mike Bonin is helping collect items for the Westside Winter Shelter Program, which offers hundreds of homeless people a safe, warm place to sleep. Due to the anticipation of El Nino rainstorms, the shelter will remain open for a longer period of time this season, and additional items will be needed. Requested items being collected include toiletries, clothing, personal items, cleaning supplies, magazines, coffee and first aid kits.

Items are being collected until Friday, December 18 at any CD11 office. Locally, those interested in donating can visit Bonin’s Westchester Office, located at 7166 Manchester Ave. in Westchester.

For a complete list of needed items, please visit


 Young Professional Toy Crawl. The LAX Young Professionals will hold their inaugural Toy Crawl on Wednesday, December 9 from 4 to 7 p.m.

The group is a division of the LAX Coastal Chamber and is made up of young at heart professionals who are interested in networking, having a good time and giving back to the community. Toy Crawl participants are asked to bring a toy that is valued at approximately $15 to the first stop at Melody Pizza, located at 9146 S. Sepulveda Blvd. in Westchester. Each person who donates a toy will receive a free slice of pizza and a drink ticket for stop 2, the Melody Bar and Grill, located a few doors down.

Guests can redeem their drink ticket at the Melody, while mixing and mingling with fellow professionals.

For more info, please call (310) 645-5151.


  • St. Margaret’s Center 23rd Annual Christmas Program. The HomeTown News is helping collect toys to benefit St. Margaret’s Center in Lennox. Every year, the center, which helps families that live at or below the poverty levels in the communities surrounding the airport, gives away thousands of toys to underprivileged children, at its annual Christmas Program. Those interested in donating can drop toys off at the LAX Coastal Chamber office, located at 9100 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Suite 210 in Westchester, Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Toy donations are requested to be valued between $20-$30. The toys will be distributed at the nonprofit’s Christmas Program, taking place on Saturday, December 19 at Morningside High School in Inglewood. Toys can also be shipped directly to the center by visiting, choosing “Wish List,” and selecting “St. Margaret’s Center.” The last day for donations is Monday, December 14.

For more info on the toy drive, please contact Terry O’Connor at (310) 994-9904 or email

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