On the blustery, but beautifully clear evening of December 23rd, the Riverside Team and supporters from the Home Office from Strat Property Management, Inc. came together to host our Annual Strat Gifts of Love Toy Drive Event. The festivities were held to benefit children growing up in foster care. Working with the California Family Life Center (CFLC) and KINCare, the team was able to sponsor over 60 children! Each child was presented with a Santa Bag FULL of gifts. They were also treated to a visit and picture with Santa, crafts, and a bounce house!
This year the event was held at StaxUP Storage Homeland, in the café. As they arrived, the families were greeted with a smile and some hugs by Alisha Carey (StaxUP Storage Homeland). The children spent the evening enjoying hot dogs served by Chris Schultz (StaxUP Storage Murrieta), Mark Lugo (StaxUP Storage Sun City), and Mark’s wife, Alma. Wiggly eyes, crayons, pipe cleaners, and all the other fun goodies needed to create Christmas decorations were spread across the craft table that was manned by Ashley Hamby and Lara Skinner (Home Office).
Mike Borg (H&M Self Storage) had the fun job of handling the “Clauson and Strauss Toy Store.” The store is specially stocked for parents to “shop” for a Christmas morning gift, to wrap as an extra surprise for each of their children. Matt Daniel (Home Office) and Rick Davis (StaxUP Storage Murrieta) handed out hot cocoa, juice, and coffee to warm everyone up. You can’t give a child a gift that requires batteries without having the batteries! So Randy Strauss (Home Office) and Brandon Loftus (Home Office) powered up the toys at the battery station. Aaron Humphries (StaxUP Storage Homeland) did a great job of keeping all the jumpers in the bounce house under control! Buzzing around the party and enjoying all the happy faces were Jenn and Tony Allen (Riverside DMs), and Don Clauson (Home Office).
Rachel Moreno with CFLC has shared with us that this event is very important to their program. It allows the kids to have a fun and safe evening, outside of the stresses of being in foster care and separated from other family member and siblings.
We are so proud to be able to put smiles on the faces of not only the kids, but the parents as well. They truly are so thankful and show it with hugs, happy tears, and thank yous.