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Toys Being Collected For Riverbank Youngsters
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This past Saturday the Marine Corps, Central Valley Community Resources, Valley Improvement Project, SaveMart Riverbank, and Casa del Rio joined forces for Toys For Tots, collecting toys for children in the Riverbank community. Photo Contributed

The Marine Corps Toys for Tots program had been collecting unwrapped toys for many years and local organizations in Riverbank have joined them to bring those toys to children in the Riverbank community. Central Valley Community Resources (CVCR), Valley Improvement Project, Save Mart Riverbank, and Casa del Rio along with the Marine Corps were in front of Save Mart this past Saturday for the start of the annual toy drive.

Volunteers collected 117 toys from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17. There were stuffed animals, dolls, remote control cars, board games and electronic games donated for the youth in Riverbank. CVCR has been collaborating with the Marines for over four years after seeing a need in the community.

“There is such a great need in Riverbank,” said CVCR CEO Darlene Barber Martinez. “Last year we served 398 children and 154 families.”

Donations of new toys for ages newborn to 12 are currently being accepted until Thursday, Dec. 13 with drop off locations throughout Riverbank. The goal is to spread Christmas cheer by bringing those less fortunate a message of hope and a present.

“It was successful,” added volunteer Diane Talbert. “We received toys and monetary donations, too. The free pictures with Santa were a big attraction.”

Families can register for the toy giveaway online at through Nov. 30. The toy distribution will be held at Cardozo Middle School in the cafeteria on Saturday, Dec. 15 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Interested families must be Riverbank residents with guardianship of the children. Only pre-registered parties will be able to pick up the toys and the registered party must be present on the day of the distribution with proof of name and address.

For more information and for specific drop off locations, contact Casa del Rio at 209-869-0468.