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Postal Service delivers some holiday cheer

Toy drive gives gifts to foster children

Posted: December 16, 2008 9:47 p.m.
Updated: December 17, 2008 12:24 p.m.

The U.S. Postal Service sent holiday cheer to more than 2,500 foster kids through its annual holiday toy drive.

Local post offices collected Christmas gifts for foster children in the County of Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services system. Volunteers helped distribute the gifts to the kids on Friday at the children's center in Chatsworth.

Bob Swanson, postmaster of the Santa Clarita Post Office, started the toy distribution program 11 years ago.

"I just wanted to give to these kids because I'd heard stories about foster kids and I knew they were in that situation not because of them, but because of what had happened with their parents," he said.

Swanson partnered with the head of children's services for help getting gifts for foster kids. Children submitted gift requests on Christmas cards that social workers collected and postal workers referenced to select each child's gift.

"(Some gifts) were pretty expensive," he said. "We got at least 20 bikes for kids who wanted bikes. I'm sure some of these kids have never received gifts (like that)."

Swanson said in past years businesses donated toys to the drive. This year most gifts were donations from post office employees.

The toy drive is a chance for postal workers to give back by purchasing gifts requested by kids in the Los Angeles foster care system.

They can look at the childrens' requests and decide how much they can give. Some employees take more than one card.

"Each office sends a carrier in a vehicle, and we come in a big parade to Chatsworth to drop the gifts off," Swanson said.


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