RED BLUFF, Calif. – Hundreds of families lined up for the Children’s Christmas Carnival at the Red Bluff Community Center to receive Christmas gifts, meet Santa and play games.
A number of local organizations like Empower Tehama, Northern California Child Development Inc. (NCCDI), and Red Bluff California Highway Patrol (CHP) helped organize the event.
NCCDI Registration and Recruitment Manager Jennifer Torres was the main organizer, but the Red Bluff CHP provided all the freebies as part of their Chips for Kids Toy Drive.
The event has been held at Red Bluff for over 20 years, but this is the second year it has been open to the public and held in a drive-thru model due to COVID-19.
Although it had to change the event, the carnival is now able to serve more families without them having to register first.
“Because of COVID and the pandemic, we know there are a lot of families in need,” Torres said. “We want to make sure that families in need can pick up Christmas presents for their children. Their job as parents is to make sure the bills are paid and let programs like this, which allow families to come in for free for Christmas gifts, let us take care of that for you.
Families received free oranges, cookies, books and more to ensure they have a Merry Christmas.
Although she has long helped families, Torres told Action News Now it continues to be the best part of her job.
“He never gets old,” Torres said. “Especially at Christmas, it’s always so fresh. It’s exciting to see the faces of the kids and know that even if it’s just a small thing, it’s a huge thing for them.
Torres told Action News Now that nearly 400 families in Tehama County were able to receive Christmas gifts today.