About 50 volunteers rolled up their sleeves and reached for the scissors, tape and wrapping paper last week at the Police Annex building.
On Dec. 13, the Kops for Kids program had toys waiting to be placed in the hands of more than 300 eager youngsters. Part of the fun of receiving a Christmas gift is ripping open the packaging and discovering what's inside. And Noah Jones, Kops for Kids coordinator, had that covered.
Jones enlisted the help of students from Los Banos High School, San Luis High School and members of the local Girl Scouts troop.
"It's a lot of work, but it's the holiday time," Jones said.
Sonia Falaschi of Los Banos High FFA brought about 20 students to help wrap. She said the children like to participate, and it teaches them the value of community service.
Kops for Kids is a joint effort of the Los Banos Police Department and the local office of the California Highway Patrol to give a Christmas gift to a child who might not otherwise get one.
Jones said many people in Los Banos donate new, unwrapped toys each year. Barrels requesting donations were placed around town in November. He can't begin to estimate how many gifts were donated since the call went out in November. But Jones said there were more requests for gifts this year.
Ten to 12 officers were scheduled to deliver the toys on Thursday. Jones said it's nice to have positive interactions with children.
"It's a day of the year when the Police Department shows up at your house, and they're bringing toys. They usually see us in a time of need, but this is a day when police show up and it's a good thing," Jones said.
Enterprise reporter Corey Pride can be reached by phone at (209) 388-6563,or by e-mail at cpride@losbanos
Enterprise reporter Corey Pride can be reached by phone at (209) 388-6563,or by e-mail at cpride@losbanos enterprise.com.