To help uplift spirits during the Christmas season, PVJOBS partnered with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) on Saturday to give away toys and food to about 1,000 community members in need. Co-sponsored by PVJOBS, the toy and food drive took place at the South Park Recreation Center in South Los Angeles and was coordinated by the LAPD’s nearby Newton Division.

The toy and food drive was organized as a drive-thru event to meet social distancing guidelines. A steady line of cars were wrapped around the block as drivers awaited their turn to drive up and receive the donated items. LAPD and PVJOBS staff and volunteers handed out a toy for each child per family as well as food and COVID care packages.

“Our toy and food drive was such a great event for everyone,” said Laura Padilla, Executive Assistant for PVJOBS. “We were able to impact so many families in our community through this event.”

LAPD Officer Gabriel Flores helped organize the annual event on behalf of the Department. He says that the LAPD holds the event each year as a meaningful way to reach out to neighborhood residents. “Our mission is to bridge the gap between the precinct and the community,” said Flores, who represents the LAPD Newton Division’s Community Safety Partnership initiative. “Through events like these, people can see us in a different way. It shows them that we’re human.”

The food packages were provided by the Office of Ninth District Los Angeles City Councilman Curren Price, and toys were donated by OKK Toys. Other event community partners were Avalon Carver Community Center, Community Safety Partnership South Park, GRYD, Porsche Downtown Los Angeles, Resilient, Soledad Enrichment Action, and Volunteers of America.