Christmas

Calimesa Toy Drive is in action now. 

When you are out shopping for bargains this weekend, try to keep in mind the annual Christmas Toy Drive, with the Calimesa Chamber of Commerce and the Calimesa Fire Department. New, unwrapped toys, for ages newborns to teenagers, can be dropped off at 17 collection sites in Calimesa, through Dec. 13, with a couple of special pop-up events in the coming weeks. The first pop-up event is set for Saturday, Dec. 4, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Tractor Supply, located at 1060 Calimesa Blvd. in Calimesa. The other pop-up event is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 9, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Marketplace in Calimesa, located at the Cherry Valley Boulevard exit at Interstate 10. Donations will then be distributed on Dec. 15 at a Night of Giving for children and families. The location for the Night of Giving is yet to be determined, but it is open to the community. “The toy drive, it is going very well,” said John Barilone, chamber president at the council meeting on Nov. 15. “We have picked up three, full boxes, and oh my gosh, they were full to the brim.” Last year the Night of Giving was a drive-through distribution because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this year it will return to an in-person event, including Santa Claus, firefighters, city officials and chamber members. In 2019, the last time it was in-person, about 250 children and families attended the Night of Giving at Dunlap Elementary School, said Tony Phillips, chamber vice president. The chamber is also seeking cash donations to help pay for turkey dinner food baskets that will be part of a free drawing during the Night of Giving. Cash donations need to be made at one of three sites – the Calimesa Chamber of Commerce office, Calimesa City Hall or the Calimesa Fire Department. All three are also accepting toy donations too. “It is a good opportunity for people to contribute to their community,” Phillips said. Look for banners and boxes at these toy collection points in Calimesa: Simplex United Career and Business Center, 1025 Calimesa Blvd. Suite 4A; Denny’s, 1184 Calimesa Blvd.; McDonald’s, 1199 Calimesa Blvd.; Calimesa Library, 974 Calimesa Blvd.; Dr. Scott Parker’s office, 1030 Calimesa Blvd., Calimesa City Hall and the Calimesa Fire Department, 908 Park Ave.; Tri Focus Wealth Management, 504 Myrtlewood Dr.; Critter Corral, 613 W. County Line Rd.; Brenda Ballew-Ward Attorney at Law office, 601 W. County Line Rd.; America Inc. Tax, 595 W. County Line Rd.; U.S. Modular, 579 W. County Line Rd.; Aloha Plumbing, 555 W. County Line Rd.; Dollar General, 1065 Calimesa Blvd.; Tractor Supply, 1060 Calimesa Blvd.; and Calimesa Chamber of Commerce office, 1007 Calimesa Blvd., Suite D. It is suggested to call for hours as some locations are closed on weekdays.

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