Play Santa Claus for Charity: Donations Sought for the Holidays



Items can be dropped off in the church parking lot.

A Santa Claus drive-through is planned this Saturday, December 3, from 9 a.m. to noon at Corpus Christi Church.

Unwrapped, new toys are being collected for children at St. Joseph’s Center. St. Joseph’s provides resources for working poor families and children, so they can become stable members of the community.

Additionally, household cleaners (sponges, hand sanitizer, detergent pods, tissues, paper towels, toilet paper) and baby diapers and wipes are welcomed and will be given to Homeboy Industries recipients. Homeboys, a nonprofit, is the largest gang rehabilitation and re-entry program in the world.

Residents can also support local businesses while purchasing items for donations. Toys are available at Loomey’s Toys on Via de la Paz. The cleaning items can be purchased at Anawalt. Diapers can be purchased at local grocery stores.

Once you have the items, drive to the Corpus parking lot to drop them off.


Vanessa Pellegrini stands in front of presents that were given to foster children in 2018. Please consider donating a gift.

For 13 years, Vittorio Ristorante and Pizzeria has hosted a luncheon for underserved children.

Once again, toys are sought for children ages 2 to 10 for this year’s lunch. One can drop off unwrapped toys at Vittorio, 166646 Marquez Avenue. Gift donations will be accepted until December 11.

Teaming up with The Sons of the American Legion and the Post 283 Auxiliary, more than 100 children, via Claris Health, will come to the Palisades for lunch and receive a toy.

Claris is a community-based nonprofit that has been serving communities, such as Leimert Park, Vermont Harbor, South LA, Hollywood, Echo Park, Inglewood, Long Beach, Compton, Watts and Lynwood since 1976.

Vittorio owner, Vanessa Pellegrini, created the toy drive after she was diagnosed with CNS (central nervous system) lupus in December 2010 and was hospitalized for two weeks.

“We weren’t sure I was going to pull through,” Vanessa said. “My mother, being a devout Catholic, prayed to Nossa Senhora de Aparecida in Brazil. She performs miracles, according to local legend, and so my mother prayed.”

Prayers were answered and after a few weeks of intensive care in the hospital, Vanessa was sent home, well on the way to recovery.

“As an offering, we both promised to give back to the less fortunate children, who are innocent and often times are the victims of circumstance,” Vanessa said

Toy suggestions include BOYS: sports equipment, skateboards and scooters, Legos, stuffed animals, shoes, Disney, Pixar Toy Story, Star Wars action figures, art supplies. GIRLS: Inexpensive bracelets, dolls, Disney toys, clothes, art supplies, Anything LOL Surprise Dolls, Minions and a doll house.


Last year, Nancy Cleveland and Marka Midwin (right) boxed the toys for the Toy Drive.

The Pacific Palisades Rotary Club is sponsoring a holiday toy drive for the Salvation Army Westwood Transitional Village.

The Salvation Army is a nonprofit organization that is helping families transition from homelessness to independent living.

Sought are new unwrapped toys. According to Lori Eisenberg, the Program Coordinator at the Salvation Army Westwood Village, “the kids really love LOL Dolls, board games, Roblox games, Minecraft games, arts and crafts, and anything sports related.”

The drop off location is 16320 Akron Street in Pacific Palisades. “The gate will be locked but you can reach over the fence and leave them gently in the plastic bins,” a Rotary representative said. The DEADLINE to drop off toys is DECEMBER 13.

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