Community ‘saved Christmas’ for local families

Families wait in line to receive their donated toys and food as part of the 2019 Richmond Fire and Police Toy Holiday Program on Dec. 21, 2019.

In the nick of time, the community stepped up and helped save Christmas for local families in need, according to a Richmond fire captain.

Just over a week ago, the Fire Department announced that the annual Richmond Fire and Police Holiday Toy Program was “well short” of the donations needed to serve families in need. Word spread in the community, with multiple news media including the Standard reporting the shortage.

Today, there is good news to share. After donations came in from businesses and citizens throughout the Bay Area, and even a few from out of state, the program will be able to serve 1,500 West County children this year with toys and food for the holidays, said Richmond Fire Capt. Rico Rincon. On Saturday, toys, food and bicycles will be gifted to pre-registered families at the Richmond Police Activities League.

“The entire community stepped up and saved Christmas for our residents,” Capt. Rincon said. “Everybody got involved. We can’t thank everyone enough. Without their efforts, this program wouldn’t be possible.”