While many children throughout the Bay Area are expectant and excited to find out what gifts are under the Christmas tree on Wednesday, a nearly daylong toy drive to ensure less fortunate children will receive gifts on Christmas Day is underway.
The 13th annual Lefty O’Doul’s Last Chance Toy Drive has become a staple in San Francisco to help ensure no children, who may not otherwise receive gifts on Christmas, go home empty-handed.
A year ago, the toy drive received more than 10,000 toys in a single day. This year, event organizers are hoping to exceed that mark.
“If you haven’t yet gotten the Christmas spirit, I guarantee the spirit will hit you today,” event spokesman Lee Houskeeper said.
Many San Francisco leaders, including Mayor Ed Lee, police Chief Greg Suhr and fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White, will be on hand to help out.
Maj. Gen. James Mike Myatt of the Marines Memorial Association will also be on hand helping out with the drive and has donated some toys of his own, according to Houskeeper.
Police and firefighters will take donated toys to the children throughout the day “until there are no more toys left to give,” Houskeeper said.
“It would be a shame if these kids don’t get gifts,” he said.
Carolers and musicians from throughout the Bay Area will provide live musical entertainment all day.
Two snow machines will also be situated atop the Lefty O’Doul’s building, and will be providing a white Christmas feel for the duration of the drive.
The toy drive began at about 5 a.m. and is expected to last until Lefty O’Doul’s last call at about 2 a.m. Wednesday.
Those wishing to donate can pull up to the curb at 333 Geary St. or call Luxor Cab for free toy pickup at (415) 282-4141. The toys should be new and unwrapped.