FONTANA, CA – Fontana Unified School District celebrated 25 years of bringing holiday cheer to local families in need during the Nov. 2 Board of Education meeting, when District employees, Board of Education members, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus provided the first donations to kick off the annual Fontana Santas Toy Drive.
Fontana Santas began in 1997 when Fontana School Police Officer Cindy Evaro and District employee Lydia Wibert 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, creating a treasured tradition that has provided toys to thousands of Fontana Unified students over the last 25 years.
Fontana Santas is 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. 17 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 Santas is a very special Fontana Unified tradition that brings employees, community organizations and residents together for a festive purpose,” Fontana Unified Interim Superintendent Juan M. López said. “We are thankful for the generous spirit of our community and the continued support in giving a memorable holiday experience to Fontana Unified families.”