On December 19th, the Los Angeles Police Reserve Foundation, along with Councilman Joe Busciano and the Los Angeles Police Reserve Corps. put on a Christmas Event in Watts. There was snow and a bouncy house for the kids. Hot dogs with all the fixings and live music. The most anticipated feature of our event was the toy give away for children ages 1-14.
We started at SouthEast division. A large Santa’s sleigh that was drawn by a black and white Suburban with reindeer on top, was provided to us by Sgt. Tingirides of SouthEast Divison. LAPRF Board members got to ride in the sleigh. We were escorted by four of Barry Maiten’s antique police cars and the Reserve motor unit. It was a thrill to ride down the streets, lights and sirens, music and all the families that came out to wave and say Merry Christmas. We had bags of small toys that we handed out to kids whenever we were stopped. It was a blast.
When we arrived at the Watts community center, there was snow for the children to play in, colorful decorations and a good old fashioned church tent revival! Mounted had some horses and ponies for the kids to pet and snuggle up too. It was very sweet to watch.
The Popps cadets, Reserves, ROVU and volunteers from Joe Busicano’s office had already set up the toys by age and gender for give away, early in the morning.
It was amazing. We gave away over 3,000 toys. The kids were so thrilled. A women asked for a picture with me and her nieces. She said she had been out of work for three months and didn’t have any money for Christmas presents. She was so grateful.
Helping the kids select a toy was a joy. Seeing their happy smiles was so wonderful. We have official photographs, but these are a few that I was able to get with my cell phone.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!