IN ITS FINAL WEEK, THE HOLIDAY TOY DRIVE MOVED INTO THE FAST LANE
District 7 kept its commitment to help those who are less fortunate this holiday season.
An overwhelming amount of contributions from Caltrans staff were collected this year in time for distribution to needy families. Several carloads of toys, gifts, clothes and canned food were picked up by the Union Rescue Mission and the Los Angeles Mission on Thursday, December 21 as a result of a successful Holiday Toy and Canned Food Drive, which took place between December 1-22.
Later in the day on Thursday afternoon, the Los Angeles Mission returned for another load of toys and canned food that continued to arrive throughout the day. As the donations mounted, by Friday morning, a second call went to the Union Rescue Mission requesting another pickup before the Holiday weekend.
The gifts and food just kept pouring in – right on time and just in time. The additional donations to the District Office were mostly from the Maintenance Regions, who took an active part of this collective toy effort.
"The participation of District Office staff, plus the Maintenance Regions and other field offices, helped to put this year’s charity campaign over the top," said Deborah Harris, Chief, Media Relations and Public Affairs Office. "The Missions' staff said Caltrans has the Midas touch! Al Rossi, from the Los Angeles Mission and Mary Renee Lindsey of the Union Rescue Mission, both who are responsible for gifts-in-kind collections, could not thank Caltrans enough for collecting so many toys for those they serve,” added Harris.
In addition to the Toy and Canned Food Drive, the Public Affairs staff, chaired by Derrick Alatorre, held a tamale sale, called the "Toymale Fest" on the two Thursdays of December 14 and 21, with proceeds to benefit the Marilyn Reece Memorial Interchange Fund. The start-up funds for the Toymale Fest were generously donated by Harris and Deborah Robertson, District 7 Deputy Director of External Affairs.
"The $400 raised from the sales will be transferred to the California Transportation Foundation (CTF) towards the purchase of four freeway signs, each costing $2,500, in Marilyn Reece's name," said Robertson. "In the new year, and to help defray the cost, we plan to continue fundraising efforts for this worthy project until the signs are up."
For more information on California's first registered female civil engineer and a Caltrans District 7 employee, or to make donations for the Marilyn Jorgensen Reece interchange named in her memory, please see the feature article in this month's edition of the Inside Seven newsletter.