FONTANA, CA – Fontana Unified School District employees, community organizations and Fontana residents are coming together to bring holiday cheer to families in need through the 24th annual Fontana Santas Toy Drive, launched during the Nov. 3 Board of Education meeting.

Fontana School Police Officer Cindy Evaro and District employee Lydia Wibert began Fontana Santas 24 years ago when they learned a Fontana boy ran away from home after Christmas because he did not receive any presents. Evaro, Wibert and the Fontana School Police Department collected toys and donations from local organizations and delivered them to students during the holidays.

The toy drive has become a treasured Fontana Unified tradition, hosted in partnership with the Fontana School Police Department, Fontana Teachers Association, United Steelworkers Local 8599, the Fontana Foundation of Hope, Fontana School Police Officers Association and the Fontana Management Association.

Donations of unwrapped toys and gift cards can be dropped off at the Fontana School Police Department, 9680 Citrus Ave., Building 9, Fontana. Donations will also be accepted at all Fontana Unified school campuses.

Those interested in participating in Fontana Santas may also contact Beulah Plata at (909) 357-5000, ext. 29570.

The Fontana Santas Toy Drive will culminate with a drive-thru distribution event, to be held on Saturday, Dec. 18 at the District Office. There, families in need identified by school sites will enjoy the sights and sounds of cheerful holiday decorations, festively dressed volunteers and classic holiday music as they receive age-appropriate gifts.

“Fontana Unified School District is committed to supporting the success and well-being of every student,” Fontana Unified Superintendent Randal S. Bassett said. “That effort also extends to working with our community to ensure every student can enjoy the holidays. Thank you to our District and community partners for their continued support in creating a memorable holiday experience for families in need.