Inside Seven
Current Issue: September 2014
Hopefully the donation cage will fill up as much as it did last year.

Caltrans Helps To Bring Holiday Joy To Angelenos
by  Patrick Chandler
Issue Date: 12/2009

District 7 employees look forward to this year’s Toy and Food Drive to help the less fortunate in Los Angeles

The large, metallic, gray building in downtown Los Angeles that houses District 7 may seem to be all business, but the staff inside have connected with the Los Angeles community year after year to help the less fortunate during the holiday season.

Once again, Caltrans has teamed up with the Los Angeles Union Rescue Mission  and the Los Angeles Mission , and added the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank as a new partner. Each of these entities provides assistance to children, families, and the homeless throughout Los Angeles.

District 7’s Toy and Food drive will begin on December 1 and end on December 21.

“I am confident that the Caltrans family will pull together to help the less fortunate this year as they have in the past,” said Interim District 7 Director, Rick Land. “District 7 employees have shown that they are some of the most creative and innovative minds in transportation nationwide, and I am sure that we can use our ingenuity to help Los Angeles’ children, families, and homeless.”

Even the smallest donation can help someone in need of a hot meal.

“For every dollar donated, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank is able to provide four meals to the community,” said Julie Flynn, communications specialist for the Los Angeles Food Bank.

The Los Angeles Regional Food Bank serves 750,000 people annually in Los Angeles County and provides food to 550 charitable organizations. “This year we [the Food Bank] have seen a 34 percent increase in food assistance requests,” said Flynn.

Even modest donations can help bring comfort.

“The poor and homeless we serve at the Los Angeles Mission often come to us with nothing but the clothes on their back -- and those clothes are often inadequate,” said Herb Smith, president of the Los Angeles Mission. “One of the most needed items is new underwear for men, women, and children. While the Mission receives many good usable articles of clothing, underwear is always needed.”

“Good used clothing for men is also always helpful. Much of our clothing donations are women's clothing, but we serve more men. Especially needed are gently used everyday office and work clothes,” Smith added.

Although Caltrans is in the business of getting people where they want to go in their cars, buses, and other vehicles, this year offers another opportunity for the Department to help people improve their lives.

"Right now the Los Angeles community needs our help more than ever to bring holiday cheer to the less fortunate," said Public Affairs Officer Yessica Jovel, the Toy and Food drive coordinator for District 7. “I am confident that the Caltrans family will fill the large red cage in the museum with toys, food, and clothes.”

How you can help.

Food, toys, and clothes can be dropped off downstairs in the reception area or brought to Public Affairs on the thirteenth floor. Monetary donations can be made directly to the Los Angeles Food Bank by clicking here. Additionally, donation boxes will be available at each maintenance region office.

Donations can include:

  • Personal care items:
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • Mouthwash
  • Zip lock bags
  • Other necessary toiletries
  • Non-perishable food:
  • Canned fruit
  • Cereal
  • Oatmeal
  • Pancake mix
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Powdered milk
  • Granola bars
  • Tuna
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Spaghetti and sauce
  • Taco shells
  • Rice and beans
  • Clothes
  • New and used clothes for men, women, children, and infants
  • Gift cards
  • Gently used business attire

New toys only

For more information, please contact Yessica Jovel at 213-897-3656.