Southern California Blue Shield Employees Provide Toys to Homeless Kids

This month, more than 30 Blue Shield of California employees in Southern California participated in a toy drive in collaboration with local non-profit North Valley Caring Services (NVCS) to supply holiday toys for children living in transitional housing, in this case, motels. 

On the evening of Dec. 16, a team of Blue Shield volunteers joined other NVCS staff and volunteers to caravan behind the “Home for the Holidays” lighted sleigh truck carrying Santa, elves, and hundreds of wrapped gifts. The caravan went from motel to motel where families with children were residing for transitional housing. These are the lucky ones that have a roof—NVCS also serves people who sleep in their cars and on the streets. 

The team worked in 45-degree weather - hey, that’s cold for Los Angeles - from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., but it was all worth it as children anxiously came out to wait for their gift, jumping with joy, smiling and laughing. For many, this would be the only holiday present they will receive this year. At the end of the night, about 500 children received toys and had a chance to take a family picture with Santa. Nourishing meals were also provided.

Blue Shield of California received many thanks from the NVCS team for ensuring smooth and cheerful operations of toy collection and distribution. Special thanks to Shakira Munoz for traffic control, and Yun Kim for inventory logistics in the “sleigh” truck. Kudos to Lupe Garza and Mary Floyd of IFP Sales for organizing, and to everyone who donated and volunteered. This letter from a parent says it all.