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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

You Still Have Time to Be a Good Person and Donate to Needy Children

Posted By on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 11:30 AM

click to enlarge All kids deserve this kind of Christmas joy. Make it happen.
  • All kids deserve this kind of Christmas joy. Make it happen.
It's a safe bet that you haven't done jack of your Christmas shopping yet. That's a bummer for you who still has to navigate the crowds at Union Square. It is, however, wonderful news for the needy kids in San Francisco — there's still time to load up on gifts for them. 

Starting tomorrow morning at 5 a.m., early risers will be collecting toys from motorists passing by to give away to the kiddos who need them most. The Christmas Eve toy drive will continue through 11 p.m., right about the time Santa is expected to arrive here. 

The drive will be in front of Lefty's Union Street location at 333 Geary Street. To keep everyone entertained, there will be dancing Santas, a 30-piece German horn band (!), and "surprise entertainers" during the 20-hour toy drive.

Lefty O'Doul's owner Nick Bovis and Mayor Ed Lee are now saying the need for toys is "profound," says Lee Houskeeper, spokesman for Lefty O'Douls. Over the last two weeks, volunteers collected 1,500 toys on behalf of Glide Memorial Church at the Lefty O'Douls location. That put a small dent in the need around San Francisco. The goal is to collect another 10,000 toys by tomorrow night. 

That means, you have a ton of shopping to do today. 

Once the toys are collected, volunteers will deliver the goods to the "forgotten child" so that every single kid has something to open on Christmas Day. The toys go to the projects, churches, schools and neighborhood community groups in the Tenderloin, Mission, Fillmore and Bayview/Hunters Point Districts.

Houskeeper made it clear that the need is urgent, saying “we have never seen it so bad. "When we started calling around to find out the need, we found this year the need is so much greater, and I know everyone says that — it's the thing to say to get yourself on television, but this time it's true."

Houskeeper says this past year — with skyrocketing housing prices and gentrification wars — the divide between the rich and the poor has never been more evident in San Francisco. 

"We went to the Tenderloin where kids said they've never seen Santa or had a toy," Houskeeper tells us. 

So use your lunch break wisely today and head to the mall, aka "Santa's workshop."

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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