Community comes together for 2019 Ravenswood holiday drive

by Contributed Content on December 11, 2019

Last weekend was the annual toy distribution event for underserved children in the Ravenswood City School District (RCSD). It was a resounding success, with toy and monetary donations from local residents and businesses providing more than 1,000 children with gifts.

The gifts were passed out at the event on Sunday, December 8, where families could “shop” in the District board room that was converted to a holiday store for the day. For those unable to attend, gifts will be distributed to families in the coming week.

As in years’ past, the event proved to be a true community effort, with neighbor helping neighbor in creative ways. Organized by Willows residents Dana Shields (who is also an RCSD arts teacher) and Chrisie Wendin, here are just a few of the other many helpers who made it possible:

• Kathleen Daly and Cafe Zoë for collecting toys and giving free hot cocoa to kids who brought in a toy donation.

• Anna Chow and Cheeky Monkey who provided discounted toys and lots of assistance in selecting the things kids would want.

• Izamar Moya, Laura Moya, and Alejandro Garcia (pictured right) who for the second year in a row, raised funds to donate 11 new bicycles, which were raffled throughout the day.

• Students from Menlo-Atherton, La Entrada, Alto International School, and Mid-Peninsula High School.

• Members of the Silicon Valley Youth service organization who have long-supported the District during the holidays and in the programs they support throughout the year.

• The Silicon Valley Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association for their generous monetary contributed to purchase toys.

• RCSD staff, including Ms. Pat (pictured top) and Laura, who tirelessly spent their weekend time off from school volunteering to make sure everything ran smoothly.

• More than 50 volunteers who worked the weekend and thought of everything, including a lighted tree and decorations and volunteer snacks.

• Generous and caring neighbors who thoughtfully selected gifts, including the Menlo Park residents who hand-crafted a special wooden doll house in anticipation of the event.

To be added to the list to receive information about 2020’s effort, email

Photos by Dana Shields (c) 2019

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