La Mesa Military Families Holiday Project 2023

As guests entered BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse on December 5th, for the annual Military Toy Drive party, they were pleasantly surprised. As they walked past the display tables filled with all the toys purchased or donated to this toy drive, they were delighted by the overwhelming number of toys on those tables. There were dolls, trucks, stuffed animals, cars, basketballs, bicycles, footballs, soccer balls, tea sets, miscellaneous games, bike helmets, robots, Lego sets, and everything in between. La Mesa Chamber members, friends and sponsors came together to celebrate the strength of our community in support of our families living in La Mesa military housing. The Chamber has a strong belief that being a leader within the community includes giving back and making a difference.

This is the 7th year that we have assisted these children and their families. We are honored to partner with the following sponsors who helped make this happen: Our Presenting Sponsor, EDCO, was joined by Supporting Sponsors – Amanda Hammett Insurance & Financial Services – State Farm, Cabrillo Credit Union, California Coast Credit Union – La Mesa, Kristie Facto Insurance & Financial Services- State Farm, Lily’s Manufactured Homes, and U.S. Bank. A grand total of 768 toys, and other items were purchased and collected to make the holidays a little brighter for these families. This project is done in partnership with Liberty Military Housing, the group that manages military housing throughout the nation and hosts holiday events for over 2,000 military children in our region. Representatives from Liberty Military Housing, Cindy Farless and her team were on hand to mix and mingle and take the toys with them to deliver to the families. The Chamber wants to acknowledge the fantastic partnership on this project with the La Mesa Police Department. They collected 112 toys through their dedicated efforts this year for these children.

We thank everyone who participated in this project to make it another success. Our special thanks to our business members and community who answered our call for toys and put a smile on the faces of the La Mesa military children. Our special thanks to our photographer, Yvette Zehner and our dedicated volunteer staff who assisted that evening.