Community members hand off boxes of toys to the Victor Valley Rescue Mission for their inaugural “Stuff the VVTA Bus” Toy Drive. Photo courtesy of the Victor Valley Rescue Mission.

On December 12th and 13th,  Victor Valley Transit was honored to partner up with the Victor Valley Rescue Mission for a “Stuff the VVTA Bus” Toy Drive that was held in front of the Victorville, CA Walmart on Amargosa Road.  Working in conjunction with area Walmart Management, this inaugural event brought in over 2,000 toys, all thanks to the kindness of the community’s residents, which included many VVTA Operators and Staff Members.

“Everyone at Victor Valley Transit was thrilled to partner up with the Rescue Mission. During such a difficult year on many levels, it was heartwarming to see our community come together and fill up our bus with toys that will be donated to High Desert children that may not otherwise have something to open this Christmas,”  shared Victor Valley Transit Marketing Manager/PIO Chris Ackerman. “The Victor Valley Rescue Mission is such a wonderful organization that truly fulfills the needs of our community all year round. Merry Christmas to all who helped stuff the bus!”

Although this was the first time the Rescue Mission has done a toy drive event like this, Executive Director Bill Edwards could not be happier with the outpouring from our community. “This year has offered unique challenges and needs within our community but at the same time, it has shown the compassion and generosity of our High Desert Community. We are so grateful to be allowed to give these gifts to our young neighbors and friends on your behalf.”

Volunteers from Victor Valley Transit, Walmart, and the Victor Valley Rescue Mission working hand in hand to provide a Christmas for over 500 High Desert families. Photo courtesy of the Victor Valley Rescue Mission.

Along with Victor Valley Transit, the Victor Valley Rescue Mission also receives toys from organizations such as Santa Claus Inc, Community Action Partnership San Bernardino, Valley Food Bank, Desert Valley Hospital, David Dupree and Friends, Sparks of Love, Cemex, Archibald’s Restaurant, Raiders Booster Club, Apple Valley Women’s Club, Desert Mountain Children’s Center, The Beaver Family, and Happy Feet Sole to Soul.  The 12th Annual Toy Giveaway will culminate at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds on Saturday, December 19. This Toy giveaway has over 500 pre-registered families for Toys for Kids from 0-17 years of age. The event will also include the distribution of Farmers to Families food boxes for each family.   This will be “capped off” with some virtual family entertainment for guests as they remain in their cars and experience a contactless drive-thru event. 

Victor Valley Rescue Mission, an outreach ministry of the Rescue Mission Alliance, provides homeless men with opportunities for addiction recovery, transitional housing, and job training and placement. Outreach services to High Desert provide unsheltered individuals with hot meals, clothing, blankets, hygiene items, a food pantry; and a direct link to hospitals, clinics, and other health-related and community-based services. The Mission hosts 3 food pantries per week and holds four major outreach events each year providing unsheltered and low-income High Desert residents, with Easter baskets, backpacks, Thanksgiving baskets, and Christmas toys.   

Victor Valley Transit, the Victor Valley Rescue Mission, and the Victorville Walmart on Amargosa have already begun discussions to make this an annual community event, with the goal of making it much larger in 2021.

For more information please contact Chris Ackerman (VVTA) at 760-559-5185 or cackerman@vvta.org or Dawn Quigg (VVRM) at 760-927-3141 or dquigg@erescuemission.org.

Left to right: Victor Valley Transit Marketing Manager Chris Ackerman and Victor Valley Rescue Mission Executive Director Bill Edwards have fun promoting the “Stuff the VVTA Bus” Toy Drive. Photo by Aubs.
Victorville Walmart staff bring a basket of toys out to help stuff the Victor Valley Transit Bus. Photo courtesy of the Victor Valley Rescue Mission.
Over 2,000 toys were collected for the Victor Valley Rescue Mission.
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