Approximately 2,500 children received toys and school supplies at the Hernandez Community Center in Downtown San Bernardino on July 23.
The Kids Wish Network, in partnership with the City of San Bernardino Parks and Recreation Department, delivered over $500,000 worth of toys–ranging from board games, stuffed animals, and art and schools supplies–to children. Families were given small meals, consisting of a hotdog and chips, and provided live entertainment.
This is the second time in two years the nonprofit visited the city. The program was designed to help at-risk children who face life-altering challenges such as abuse, neglect, illnesses, homelessness and poverty.
Kids Wish Network Marketing Manager Kendra Kenney explained city leaders requested for the nonprofit to provide further assistance. According to Councilwoman Virginia Marquez, Kenney was among the first to call the city after the Dec. 2 tragedy.
“We developed a deep feeling for this community,” Kenney said. “We usually don’t come back a second time. However we couldn’t refuse.”
Law enforcement officers from the San Bernardino Police Department and the San Bernardino County Probation office accompanied the children through the room, helping them choose items they liked.
San Bernardino Police Officer Shaun Sandoval said there is nothing better than helping children and seeing them happy. “It’s enjoyable to see kids with smiles on their faces and having fun. This creates a positive experience for them.”
Kenney believes law enforcement involvement with the Holiday of Hope tour is an important component to improving relationships in the community.
“Events like these build a better and positive relationship between residents and law enforcement,” she said. “The kids get to see policemen [and women] in a good light.”
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Parks and Recreation Interim Director Jim Tickemeyer said holding the event demonstrates that San Bernardino continues to take positive steps.
“It’s important for us to serve our communities. Events like these not only revitalize our communities, but our staff. There are a lot of tough days, but days like these off set those days. Events like these will resonate in our community for a very long time.”
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (July 25, 2015): Children’s charity Kids Wish Network brought joy to San Bernardino children by distributing almost $500,000 of new gifts as part of the Kids Wish Network’s On Tour Event program that works to offer joy to children facing life-altering situations.
“We are thankful to Kids Wish Network, our City departments, and other partners for bringing this positive experience to our community. The opportunity to bring hope and joy to our youth is essential as we reshape our city’s future”said Mayor Carey Davis.
Thousands of San Bernardino children and their families flooded the area and waited patiently in lines wrapped around the Rudy C. Hernandez Community Center. For more than four hours, city officials, local volunteers, police officers and firefighters all worked nonstop to make sure that each and every child received the toys and necessities they so deserved.
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“I’m proud to have been part of the Kids Wish Network’s, Holiday of Hope on Tour event that brought together national and local partners, sponsors and volunteers in support of our City’s youth. The event was a huge success and reinforces that through positive experiences such as this, we can truly be architects of a new beginning,” said Councilwoman Virginia Marquez.
The 28 pallets, delivered by sponsor Network Global Logistics with assistance from California Cross Docks, Inc., were filled with board games, puzzles, stuffed animals, school supplies, new clothes and hygiene products valued at over $500,000.
Through the Holiday of Hope On Tour Event and Gift Bank programs, Kids Wish Network is able to reach hundreds of thousands of children in areas like San Bernardino each year. These kids are facing upsetting and often traumatic circumstances such as illness, abuse, neglect and homelessness.
“This On Tour Event in San Bernardino gave Kids Wish Network the opportunity to do more than just deliver toys and necessities; it allowed us to help strengthen the bonds between city officials and the community,” said Kids Wish Network Executive Director Anna Lanzatella. “We are thrilled to provide joy to the kids of San Bernardino with the help of Mayor R. Carey Davis, Councilwoman Virginia Marquez and the city staff that helped coordinate this exceptional event.”
Through the generosity of Kids Wish Network’s Guardian Angel sponsors and local volunteers, Kids Wish Network and the city were able to bring comfort and joy to kids that need it most.
Special thanks to sponsors and volunteers including: The City of San Bernardino, Mayor R. Carey Davis, Councilwoman Virginia Marquez, San Bernardino Parks, Recreation, and Community Service Department, San Bernardino Police Department, San Bernardino Professional Firefighters, Network Global Logistics, California Cross Dock, Inc, Yoobi, Chili’s Bar & Grill #64, BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse, Toyota of San Bernardino, Holiday Inn Ontario Airport, Super Burrito, Napoli’s-Italian, Target-San Bernardino T-0297, Rosa Maria’s Jose’s, Chick-Fil-A, Costco, and The Cheesecake Factory..
San Bernardino Certificates of Recognition