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East County News Service

December 6, 2016 (San Diego) - The California Highway Patrol has launched its 2016 CHiPs for Kids toy drive in San Diego County.  CHiPs for Kids is a Community Outreach program that has been in existence for 28 years in other areas of the state.  Friday December 16th.  There will be several collection and distribution events in the county, including Friday,  December 16th from  2 to 6 p.m. at the Walgreens Store in Lakeside(9728 Winter Gardens Boulevard 92040 here in East County.)  You can also drop off a new, unwrapped toy at any CHP office, Red Robin Restaurant, Waste Management, or Walgreens location between now and December 23rd.

CHiPs for Kids began 28 years ago when a small group of CHP officers from the Los Angeles area visited and brought toys to young children that were hospitalized during the holiday season as a result of a traffic collision.  The CHiPs for Kids program has now expanded to also provide toys to local groups and organizations that serve those in need, helping bring a brighter holiday season to underprivileged children. 

One highlight of the CHiPs for Kids program is that each toy donated to the CHP will to be given to a child in the San Diego area. The toys are kept in the same community from which they are collected.  Toward the end of the holiday season, each of the 3 San Diego CHP offices will set up distribution events.  During distribution events, our officers, along with Chipper the CHP mascot, go out into the community and connect directly with children in a non-enforcement setting.  This allows the children to see law enforcement officers as people they can put their trust in.  As you know, most contact that officers have with the public involve arrests for criminal offenses, traffic violations or traffic collisions.  The CHiPs for Kids program allows officers to meet the public and to build positive relationships with children.  It also serves as an opportunity to educate the community about traffic safety such as the dangers of drinking and driving, distracted driver awareness, and the benefits of seatbelt compliance. 

The CHP and its partners are inviting the public to help make a difference during this holiday season.  The goal is to make a difference to as many children and families in San Diego and to continue its partnerships with the communities we serve and protect.  Organizations that would like to learn how to receive toys from the CHiPs for Kids toy drive can call (858) 650-3600 and ask for the Public Information Unit. 

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