While most children are nestled snug in their beds at 1 a.m., a number of young children will start lining up with their parents at the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission waiting for a new toy at the Mission’s annual Santa Day on Monday.
As of yesterday the Mission had a huge shortage of toys, still thousands short of what they need to provide each of the roughly 5,000 children that will attend the party with a new toy. That toy will quite possibly be the only one they receive this holiday season.
An article in Thursday’s Desert Sun also noted that the Mission had no gifts to give 10 to 12 year olds. Luckily Retrotel, a local company that provides business telephone equipment, arrived Thursday around 2 p.m. to help close the gap on the toy shortage. As luck would have it, they focused many of their shopping efforts on children in the 10 to 12 age range, purchasing basketballs, Justin Bieber calendars and books and items from the movie Twilight.
While delivering the 420 new gifts to the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, company president Brian Sonderman, who shopped for all of the gifts himself online at Amazon.com, discovered that many of the toys the Mission already had needed batteries. Realizing this may be a hardship for gift recipients, he immediately left to go purchase 500 AA batteries to hand out with those electronic toys.
This is the second year Retrotel has supported the Mission in their efforts. They were initially motivated to action last year when, just days before Christmas, they saw a news story about a drastic shortage of toys at the Rescue Mission.
While the Mission is still in great need, Sandy Carroll, Development Coordinator at CVRM, felt blessed to receive this donation just in time for Monday’s party. Anyone interested in helping can drop off toys at 47-518 Van Buren Street in Indio. In addition to toys they are also in need of food items for the nearly 600 hot meals a day they currently serve.