Holly Fazio enjoys helping others, especially during the holidays. She got her chance when her company got involved in a toy drive for local children in need this Christmas.
“Holidays are the best time of year to give to others,” she said.
Fazio and her co-workers at Edison International and Southern California Edison (SCE) have donated dozens of gifts to the 22nd Annual Spark of Love Toy Drive organized by ABC7 and Southern California firefighters. It is the only toy program created and operated by firefighters.
“You can see and feel the impact before the kids even open their gifts,” said Lt. Bob Dunn, public safety information officer for Anaheim Fire & Rescue. “Kids are receiving something tangible that they otherwise couldn’t be provided because of their family situation.
“Spark of Love goes to the core of service,” added Dunn. “Firefighters are committed to service in their communities, so this is just another way to continue our support.”
The annual toy drive began in 1993. New, unwrapped toys and sports equipment are collected for underserved children and teenagers in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Ventura and Riverside counties. This year, the goal is to surpass last year’s collection of 450,000 toys.
SCE employees continue to drop off their donations at the stuff-a-bus location at the Honda Center in Anaheim. Organizers hope to stuff more than 18 Orange County Transportation Authority buses. Over the past two decades, the toy drive has collected more than 9 million toys.
“To help keep our communities strong, Edison International partners with organizations that provide vital services — education, workforce development and other civic engagement programs — to help the underserved,” said Janet Clayton, senior vice president of Corporate Communications at Edison International and SCE. “Our employees have a desire to give back. It is not surprising to see them supporting Spark of Love and other initiatives targeting the underserved this holiday season.”
The Orange County Toy Collaborative — a partnership between fire agencies, local law enforcement and community-based organizations — works to identify families in need. Working together, these agencies collect and distribute about 300,000 toys to Orange County children in need each year.
Although toy distributions have already started, the Spark of Love campaign runs through Christmas Eve. Gifts of all sizes can still be dropped off at any local fire station.
“At its core, it’s about partners and companies like Southern California Edison that help us meet our goal,” said Dunn. “Firefighters from across Southern California thank you for your generosity and support.”