This morning I was part of a group of volunteers from Microsoft who participated in the "Miracle on 1st Street"  Toy Giveaway at the Hollenbeck Youth Center.

Hollenbeck Youth Center in Boyle Heights (LA) 

Our group met up and helped prepare some of the toys that had been donated.  We opened boxes, unpacked toys and stuffed backpacks.  Several Microsofties brought their spouses and kids along to help out.

Kevin is stuffing backpacks for kids

It was gratifying to see that the Youth Center was filled with toys.  However, there was a line of families stretching beyond our ability to see the end, patiently waiting for us to finish getting the toys ready.

The youth center was filled with toys

There was a short ceremony inside the center.  Nike donated a substantial sum for the building of athletic facilities in LA.  This being LA, we had to have the celebrity MCs (Tom Arnold and another guy - must be from TV, since I didn't know who he was).  Our Gov was there too, along with a bunch of local politicians.

Nike donates 20K

The media was out in full force as well.

Big media coverage

It was fun working with volunteers from all over Southern California.  Backpack stuffing was the order of the day.  Here's some hard workers that I got to know.

Great bag stuffing helpers

When we were done preparing the toys, then we brought them outside to the tents for the Santa(s) to distribute.  Even the smallest helpers were doing their part.

Glen and his daughter helping out

Then our job for the day was done.  The tents opened and the Santas got busy handing out gifts.  The bands started playing, the food tents opened and even the Laker Girls even showed up to sign autographs.  It was fun morning for everyone.

Laker Girls

Happy Holidays - share the spirit!