Richmond-El Cerrito fire and police ask for support helping needy families



Contact: Michelle Milam  (510) 837-9257

Richmond-El Cerrito Fire/Police Toy Program Needs Santa’s Helpers

Description: Richmond-El Cerrito Fire/Police Toy Program seeks help for needy families 

Richmond, CA —  December 4, 2013 –  First responders from Richmond and El Cerrito are asking the public for help to provide Food and Toy baskets to over 1700 families this coming holiday season.  The Richmond-El Cerrito Toy program is seeking to help needy families who have a hard time making ends meet.  Each year the program gets applications from the two cities from needy families hoping to receive a food basket and toys for their children under 12. This year 1700 families signed up for the program. Others were turned away because of the great need.

 “I think even the most jaded person will believe in miracles when they see these kids faces,” said Richmond firefighter Rod Woods, the brainchild of the 20 year old program, “We believe there are still good people in this world who will help us make this miracle happen.”  “This is not an easy season for many families, which is why we should all help one another when we can,” said Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus, “There are people who gave to this program in the past who will be in line this year due to a job lay off or illness. You always hope help will be there for you if you need it. Sometimes kids give to the program, which is really heartwarming. What better way for parents to show their kids the spirit of the season than to give as a family.”

The public can help donate to the program by visitingwww.toyprogram.org. The public can also help by getting their school, place of employment, or religious organization to make a donation. Sharing the information with friends online via social media also helps. This year every dollar donated up to $10,000 will be matched by Chevron Corporation, so the money goes even further.

The toy program was started 20 years ago when Richmond Firefighter Rod Woods parked his vehicle in a low income neighborhood and distributed toys to the local children during the holidays. A police officer saw that he needed help and assisted him in the distribution. Since then it has grown to serve thousands of needy people each year.

Contact Information: 
Richmond-El Cerrito Food and Toy Program 
Contact: Michelle Milam  (510) 837-9257 


Who: Richmond, El Cerrito Firefighters and Police

What: Toy and Food Program

When: Need online donations



The Richmond/El Cerrito Fire & Police Holiday Toy Program exists to collect and distribute new, unwrapped toys to economically disadvantaged children in the western Contra Costa County area during the holiday season.

As professional firefighters, we see the ravages brought on by the loss of both homes and property. Our non-profit organization strives to brighten the lives of needy children in Richmond, San Pablo and the surrounding communities, particularly during the holidays. Both monetary donations and donations of new, unwrapped toys are accepted throughout the calendar year. With generous donations from both local corporations and individuals, the Richmond/El Cerrito Fire & Police Holiday Toy Program distributes toys to children ages 12 and under residing in western Contra Costa County. Also, in conjunction with staff from the Richmond Police Department, the Richmond/El Cerrito Fire & Police Holiday Toy Program distributes food baskets so that families can enjoy a holiday dinner.

The primary objective of the Richmond/El Cerrito Fire & Police Holiday Toy Program is to assist underprivileged children and their families in western Contra Costa County during the holidays.


7th annual holiday toy event tonight at Richmond veterans hall

press release:


The 7th Annual Evening of Remembrance-Holiday Party




Veterans Memorial Hall


968 23rd Street Richmond CA. 94804


Friday, December 21, 2012. 6:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.



Please bring a Scarf or Hat set for Babies & Toddlers

for full flier click:2012 7th Annual Evening of Remembrance-Holiday Parrty & Toy Giveaway[3]


North Richmond toy giveaway set for Thursday at noon

Take you kids out today for Christmas celebration and giveaway:

The Center for Human Development will have a Toy giveaway on Thursday, December 20, 2012, from 12:00pm to 2:00 pm, at 1410 Kelsey Street, Richmond,CA (inside the Shields-Reid Community Center. Children must be present to receive a toy. First come first served. Any questions, call (510) 234-5359.

MLK, Peres, Richmond schools benefit from Danville kids giving



Danville elementary school students learn the value of giving, by making sure other less fortunate students in Richmond have a happy holiday season.


                     WHAT/WHO: Sycamore Valley Elementary School is partnering with Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary to help 28 needy families. This event is called, “Adopt A Family” and it’s run through the San Ramon Valley Unified School District’s, Sister School Program. It is aPTArun program, partneringschools within SRVUSD with other schools in aneighboring disadvantaged area in the East Bay. The program’s mission is to foster philanthropy within our youth. Students are directly involved in helping other students in need, by actively participating in programs throughout the school year. Sycamore is one of 32 schools participating in the Sister School program this year.


                     WHEN/WHERE: Thursday, December 13th, 2013

                              -We will be loading up 2 moving vans at Sycamore Elementary School in Danville, between8:15am-9am

                              -We then caravan over to MLK Jr. Elementary in Richmond and unload all the donations.

                              -There will be students from both schools helping with this process as well as a few families who will receive the donations.

 Also: Susan Barrington, a substitute principal at Perez Elementary School in Richmond, said donations of bikes, toys and other things from folks/kids at SRV High School in Danville happens tomorrow

                     CONTACT: Kim Lonergan for more information at: mail2kimy@yahoo.com



                     Sycamore Elementary: 2200 Holbrook Drive, Danville

                     MLK Jr. Elementary: 234 South 39th Street, Richmond




Christmas toy giveaway named for legendary North Richmond figure set for Dec. 16


The Charles Reid Foundation


What:             65th Annual Charles R. Reid Memorial Christmas Party


When:            Sunday,December 16, 2012


Where:           RichmondPALCommunity Center

                       2200 Macdonald Avenue,Richmond,CA94804


Who:              Children between 2 – 12 years old with Parents


Time:              12:00 PM –4:00 PM


Cont:              Todd Lewis(510)236-8520




The Charles Reid Christmas Party is an annual event that was originated in 1947 by the late Mr. Charles Reid to offer Christmas Toys to underprivileged kids in the Richmond Community.  We are proud to announce this year’s event will be our 65th consecutive year.


This event has passed though generations of families inRichmondand surrounding communities.  We provided Christmas Toys and a visit with Santa for families whom are truly needy during the holiday season.


During the past 65 years, this event has been a cornerstone to the families ofRichmondand surrounding communities. Since the inception of the event, we have served approximately 1000 – 2000 children each year with toys, fruits, candies, cookies, stockings and entertainment.  We are hoping to assist all those in need during this Christmas season.


Our Sponsors


Chevron Richmond                        Omega Pacific Electrical Supply, Inc.     Stifel Nicolaus

Mechanics Bank                  San Francisco Fire Toy Program              Richmond PAL

Marriott Richmond


Annual Christmas toy and coat event Friday at Verde Elementary in North Richmond


JOHN GIOIA (joy-a) | Contra Costa County | Board of Supervisors | District One 11780 San Pablo Avenue, Suite D | El Cerrito, CA 94530 | (510) 374-3231 www.cocobos.org/gioia For Immediate Release December 13, 2012 For more information contact: Luz Gomez, Deputy Chief of Staff – 510-374-3231 Office; 925-785-2439

What: Annual Verde Elementary School Toy and Coat Distribution

When: Friday, December 14, 2012; 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Where: Verde Elementary School, 2000 Giaramita Street, N. Richmond, CA

Why: More than 300 kindergarden – 6th graders at Verde Elementary School will be receiving a new coat and wrapped present at tomorrow’s toy & coat give–away.

Verde Elementary School is located in the East Bay unincorporated community of North Richmond in Contra Costa County, which is considered to be one of the most impoverished communities in the Bay Area.

County Supervisor John Gioia, whose West County District includes North Richmond, has been organizing the toy and coat distribution for the last 14 years.

This year, more than 20 volunteers to help sort and wrap items, and donations from the public totaling nearly $8000 have made the event possible. The toy & coat give-away will begin at 9 a.m. Toys will be located in the school’s multi-purpose room. Coats will be given at the library.


Richmond’s RYSE youth center celebrates

(by Robert Rogers)

RICHMOND — Four years ago, the RYSE Center was just taking shape 
Today, it’s one of the city’s proudest success stories.
And it keeps adding new chapters.
“This community knew that young people could lead a center and develop the programming and have adult allies to help make it work,” said County Supervisor John Gioia, one of the founders of the Macdonald Ave. youth center. “And that’s what’s great about this center. It’s an alliance between adults and youths, but the youths lead the effort.”
On Dec. 8 hundreds gathered to celebrate the 4th anniversary of the RYSE Youth Center with s ribbon cutting for the opening of an outdoor stage, gardens, and basketball court.
In addition to the grand opening of the RYSE Outside’s project, the youth center distributed hundreds of toys to Richmond families.
The new outdoor area was funded mostly by the Bechtel and Lesher Foundations, to the tune of more than $200,000.
The Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation, established in 1989 and named for the founder of the Contra Costa Times, grants hundreds of thousands annually for community improvement and educational scholarships in Contra Costa County.
“Dean would be thrilled to see this,” said Lesher Foundation Executive Director Kathleen Odne, gesturing toward the outdoor ampitheater and dozens of children. “We are ongoing supporters of RYSE programming.”

RYSE Center thanks supporters, urges more for kids this Christmas

From staff at the RYSE Center:

Hello Friends and Family,

First off, I would like to thank all of you who have donated money and/or toys for the RYSE toy drive. Your generosity is much appreciated. For those of you who may want to make a contribution, there is still time before Thursday to drop off toys or make an online donation that we will use to purchase toys (http://www.rysecenter.org/support-ryse/). Be sure to write “richmondtoys” in the PO box field.
Secondly, I would like to invite you all to attend our Winter Wonderland event this Saturday, December 8th from 2pm – 5pm. This should be a really fun event and a great opportunity for those of you who have not had a chance to make it out to RYSE to come check it out. Plus, it’s totally family friendly so you can bring all the little ones with you!
Hope to see you there!
Happy Holidays,

Richmond Latina Center to host Christmas festival Saturday


RICHMOND, CA  On December 1st, The Latina Center will host its annual Christmas Festival to offer to our families in the community a day full of joy.

Festivities will take place from10 am to3 pm located at 3701 Barrett Avenue in Richmond.  Holiday food baskets and blankets will be provided to families in need.

This initiative began with a donation from The San Francisco Foundation that allowed us to prepare 20 food baskets.  This ”Christmas spirit of giving” grew and we asked our community to join us in making a contribution so that we could give 100 food baskets and blankets to 100 families.

Because of the response from our staff, community leaders, local businesses, non-profit organizations, churches and our family and friends, The Latina Center is grateful to be able to provide 100 food baskets, blankets and a day of celebration to the families during our annual Christmas Festival on December 1st.  Walgreens will also be on hand to provide flu vaccines to those who need them.  The LatinaCenter is thankful for this opportunity to serve.

3701 Barrett Ave

Richmond,CA 94805

Miriam Wong, Executive Director






RYSE toy drive for local kids in Richmond, North Richmond


Press release:

November 13, 2012

Dear Generous Gift Giver,

The RYSE Youth Center is excited to partner with the Office of Supervisor John Gioia in hosting a Holiday Toy Drive for students at Verde Elementary (5 to 14 years) in North Richmond and children (newborn to 14 years old) attending RYSE’s Winter Wonderland event on Saturday, December 8 from 2-5pm.

To ensure that every child receives a brand new toy this holiday season, we are asking for your support by making a toy or monetary donation. If you wish to participate, we kindly request that all donated toys be new/unopened, unwrapped and a minimum $10.00 value. All financial contributions will be used to purchase additional toys for the event. The drop off center* for toy and monetary donations will be held at the RYSE Youth Center located at:

205 41st  Street Richmond, CA 94805

Please note:

checks can be made payable to the “RYSE Youth Center”.

For online contributions, please go to:


and, when processing payment, please include “Toy Drive” in PO Number box.

*The RYSE Center will be accepting toys until Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 7:00pm.

RYSE’s Winter Wonderland event will be at no cost to those who wish to attend. The event will be held in celebration of our grand opening of RYSE OUTSYDE; a safe outdoor space built for our youth members to participate in a variety of performing arts and health and wellness activities including dancing, music performances, visual arts, sports, exercise and gardening. The program will include a toy give-away food, music, arts and crafts, tree decorating, snow machine, raffles, prizes and more!

For more information or questions, please contact Development Associate, Raquel

Toledo, at 510.374.3401; email


We thank you in advance for your consideration and generosity.

 Happy Holidays,

 Dan Reilly

Media, Arts, & Cutlure Director

RYSE Center