Toys for Joy Serves Thousands of San Diego Families With Toys, Food and Clothing

| December 2, 2018 | 0 Comments

Holiday elves stand before a wall of toys donated to support the annual Toys for Joy program.

On Saturday, December 8, 21,000 people are expected to attend the 22nd annual Toys for Joy event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is located at three locations, including Lincoln High School, Cajon Valley Middle School, and Guajome Park Academy.

Twenty-one years in the running, families start lining up as early as 3 p.m. the day before, for an opportunity to receive toys, clothing and groceries for the holidays. Now more than ever, Toys for Joy has become a tradition that San Diego families count on every December, meeting the needs of thousands.

“Toys for Joy represents the best of San Diego’s giving spirit. It brings together residents and neighbors from across our city to share in the joy of the holiday season and provide for those among us who are less fortunate,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer.

Toys for Joy is more than just a toy. Not only will children, from birth to 11 year’s old receive a free toy, but families will have the opportunity to receive free lunch, gently-used clothing (at the Lincoln site), groceries, hair cuts, activities and more. Many volunteers, sponsors, and community partners work together to spread pervasive hope through this significant event.

In tough economic times, everyone needs hope. Of San Diego County’s 3.2 million residents, 486,000 people face food insecurity every day. Of this number, 163,000 are children. Nearly 19 percent of San Diego County’s children are living in poverty, according to An analysis of two Census Bureau surveys — one conducted between 2006 and 2010, and the other between 2011 and 2015 — shows that the countywide poverty rate grew from 12.3 to 14.5 percent. That’s an increase of 94,000 people living on incomes below the poverty line, enough to fill two Petco Park Stadiums.

During the holiday season, it is even more difficult for families to provide toys and clothing for their families without sufficient funds and resources. Toys for Joy brings hope by providing a toy, clothing, lunch and groceries to those in need. These toys are a way to change the lives of families in San Diego, and fulfill the main mission of the church to bring people together and transform the lives of San Diego by sharing the meaning of Christmas.

“More than ever, people need to step up and help those who are in need this year,” said McPherson. “Christmas is a time when God showed His love for us, and we’re ready to show God’s love in the communities where we live and serve. That’s the purpose of the church.”

The event has grown to toys, food, clothing, and more. Last year alone, Toys for Joy gave away over 21,927 toys, 11,812 bags of groceries, 279,000 articles of clothing and shoes to brighten the lives of many San Diego kids. This event is free and open to the community.

To make a difference in the life of a child this Christmas, there are four ways to be part of Toys for Joy. There are the following ways that the community can participate:

Give: Purchase a toy from the online wish list at
Partner: Monetary and/or in-kind gifts can be contributed online at
Invite: Invite a friend or family that you know that could benefit from this event.
Volunteer: Sign up to volunteer with family and friends at

Toys for Joy was founded by Pastor Miles McPherson of the Rock Church in 1996 to partner with local churches and community businesses and serve Southeastern San Diego. For the past 21 years, Toys for Joy has impacted thousands of lives through volunteers that provide toys, clothing, and food, in addition to health and community services. For more information, visit

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