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.


Eight local girls get scholarships for math/science camp at Sonoma State


Scholarship also featured in Chris Treadway’s CCTimes piece


West Contra Costa Branch

American Association of University Women,

Advancing equality for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research.

Press release: TECH TREK


Eight 7th-grade girls from West Contra Costa Unified School District are awarded scholarships to attend week long Math Science camp at Sonoma  State Collegestarting on June 23rd, 2013

For 12 years, the “TECH TREK” program has been sponsored by West Contra Costa Branch of  The American Association of University Women (AAUW).

AAUW California hosts similar events at eight other universities throughout the State

AAUW raises $850 dollars per girl annually from its Membership, including Bio-Rad, Mechanics  Bank, The ED  Fund, The American Chemical Society, California Section, and other contributors.

The nominations came from 7th Grade Math/ Science teachers.

 This years group is from  Hercules, Crespi, Portola, De Jean and Stewart Middle Schools .

On June 8th, a reception will be held at The El Cerrito Denny’s at 2 pm for the girls and their families  to meet  each other and to  ask questions.

Another AAUW project awards an annual scholarship of $1500 dollars to a young woman from Contra Costs College who is going on to a 4 year program in the sciences. She is selected by Dr. Seti Sidharta of The Center for Science Excellence at Contra Costa College.

For Further Information Contact:

Jacqueline Title AAUW  Membership (510) 234-9370  jtitle@mac.com  or

Roberta Montgomery AAUW Treasurer

(510) 237-5293



invites you to the
2013 Tech Trek Reception
What:  A Celebration/Orientation for the WCC Branch Tech Trek Science and Math Camp 2013 Scholarship Recipients
Date:  Saturday, June 8, 2013
Time:  2:00 to 4:00 o’clock
Where: El Cerrito Denny’s
11344 San Pablo Ave.
(San Pablo Ave at Potrero Ave)