11,200 Toys Delivered To Needy SF Kids

Nearly all of the approximately 11,200 toys collected at the “Last Chance” toy drive at San Francisco’s Lefty O’Doul’s have been delivered to children today, an event spokesman said.

Firefighters, police officers and other volunteer “elves” have been working around the clock to deliver the barrels of toys to less fortunate children after they were dropped off at the Union Square bar starting at 5 a.m. Tuesday, event spokesman Lee Houskeeper said.

The drive kicked off Tuesday morning in front of the bar at 333 Geary St. and toys were dropped off until last call at 2 a.m. this morning.

Donations of new and unwrapped toys were accepted curbside or picked up for free through Luxor Cab rides.

About half the toys were delivered to homes on Christmas Eve through the San Francisco Firefighters Toys Program, which is continuing deliveries today.

One of the event’s chief elves, locksmith Tommy Soto, has been a longtime volunteer at the 13-year tradition, Houskeeper said.

Soto was headed to Buchanan and Eddy streets this afternoon to drop off a truckload of toys to families in San Francisco Supervisor London Breed’s district, which includes the Fillmore, Hayes Valley and the Western Addition, Houskeeper said.

Houskeeper said firefighters, public safety personnel and other volunteers were heading to public housing developments to make more Christmas Day drop-offs.

“We’re making sure these kids get these good toys,” Houskeeper said.

He said he was impressed with the quality of the last-minute gifts and said people this year are feeling the holiday spirit.

Sasha Lekach, Bay City News

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