Since 1981, the nonprofit Miracle on First Street has hosted food and toy giveaway events at the Hollenbeck Youth Center in Boyle Heights, to help Eastside families in need during the end-of-year holiday season.
On Saturday, nearly 10,000 toys were handed out there by Miracle sponsors Inner-City Games LA and the Hollenbeck Police Business Council.
According to news reports, hundreds of families lined up for the event, which featured a winter wonderland of snow characters, Christmas music and fun activities for children. This year, action stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Trejo made a special appearance.
Both actors have attended charitable events in Boyle Heights over the years. Last month Schwarzenegger handed out turkeys at the organization’s Thanksgiving giveaway, a yearly tradition for the former California governor.
“I’ve been doing this for over 30 years,” Schwarzenegger told ABC7 News. “It gives me a feeling like I’m giving something back. Remember, I’m an immigrant. The only way I became successful is by having a lot of help from people all over the United States.”
Saturday’s toy giveaway is among others sponsored by community organizations and government officials in support families struggling from the financial stress that can come from the holidays. A recent similar event hosted by CD 14 featured a special neighborhood Santa.