By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Holiday Toys, Food Distribution Due
Placeholder Image
Some of the brightly wrapped boxes crammed with children's toys you've seen around town may be temporarily missing but organizers of the massive toy and food giveaway planned for four days before Christmas will be gathering donations up to the last day.

"We have 600 kids registered. That's twice as many as last year," said Donna Bridges of the numbers slated to receive a toy at a distribution of both food and toys scheduled for next Tuesday, Dec. 22, starting at 10 a.m. at the Riverbank Community Center.

The latest news for the "Riverbank Cares" event is that the Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Technology firm headed by Mick Meeks at the former Army ammunition plant has donated $1,000 for the cause.

The California Highway Patrol is collecting toys also but won't have theirs ready until around Dec. 19. Riverbank Rotarians have promised cash.

The Tuolumne Woodworkers Association that meets monthly in Riverbank is making wooden puzzles to contribute. Bridges is anticipating toys, maybe in the form of stuffed toy animals from large stores such as Target and Kohl's.

Friday, Bridges had a truck pick up donation boxes at the schools and take them to the Black Belt Academy downtown so she could make a count of the contents and ensure there are toys available for every age from two- to 10-years-old.

For a month now, boxes have been standing in public places such as City Hall at 6707 Third St. and the Sheriff's Office at 6727 Third, the Consolidated Fire Department station at 3318 Topeka St. and St. Vincent de Paul's at the St. Frances of Rome Catholic Church at 2827 Topeka.

Riverbank High School students of the Step by Step program were due to help Bridges gather the toys, make a list of them and compute what they still need.

The toy distribution will be combined with a food giveaway in the same place at the same time.

The agencies involved include St. Vincent de Paul, Christian Food Sharing, Riverbank Rotary Club, Casa del Rio, Sheriff's Team of Active Retired Seniors, Riverbank Oakdale Transit Authority and various local schools and churches.

Bridges invited anyone who knows of a child or family in need to call the Casa del Rio at 869-0468 or Norma Torres Manriquez at 863-7153 in City Hall.