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In wake of the Hill fire and last year’s Thomas fire, the Santa to the Sea half marathon and 5k and local PODS moving and storage will work together to help those in need by collecting toys for the holidays. PODS will collect unwrapped toys that will be given out at the annual Santa Claus Park toy giveaway on Dec. 9 at the Marine Emporium Landing 3600 S. Harbor Blvd., Oxnard CA 93035
Despite the race being cancelled last year due to the air quality caused by the Thomas Fire, the community showed an outpouring of support by donating over 1,000 toys that were stacked high in the PODS containers.
“It’s our responsibility as a community to come together and help give back to children and families in need. Despite the cancellation of the event last year, the community came together to show their support and we hope that we can collect even more donations this year,” said Steve Yapp, owner of local PODS Moving and Storage. “With the addition of the Hill fire this year, many families are still displaced from their homes, and we hope that we can give them a little holiday cheer during these difficult times.”
On race day, the donated PODS containers will serve as the official “Santa’s Sleigh” and will be placed at the finish line for the community and racers to donate a toy that will then be delivered to the Santa Claus Park toy giveaway, an event that brings hope and happiness to the local community. Local fire, police, sheriff and CHP volunteers line Ventura Blvd to unpack the PODS containers and distribute toys to the over 3,000 families and children that line-up each year.
“Santa to the Sea appreciates the strong support of PODS. Without dedicated corporate sponsors, our race would not be able to occur each year,” said Mike Barber, Founder of Santa to the Sea.
The Santa Claus Park toy giveaway began in 2003 when event director Mike Barber realized the community’s need for support during the holidays was growing. He transformed the iconic Santa statue into the starting line for the annual Santa to the Sea half marathon and toy drive and it now serves as a symbol of giving in the community of Oxnard.
Steve Yapp is the owner of three Tri-Counties PODS franchises that serve residents and businesses in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.
Dedicated to the local community, Yapp’s franchises have donated hundreds of PODS containers to nonprofit and charitable organizations throughout Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, San Diego and Los Angeles counties since opening their doors in 2005.
A partial list of recipients includes: Boys & Girls Clubs, FOOD Share of Ventura County, Casa Pacifica, Toys 4 Tots, California Strawberry Festival, Ojai Music Festival, Relay for Life, C.H.P. Holiday Toy Drive, Salvation Army, Santa Maria Good Samaritan, Oxnard Downtown Management District, Boy Scouts of Ventura County, California Visitors Center, Simi Valley Days, the Oxnard Salsa Festival, and Catholic Charities. PODS is a leader in the moving and storage industry providing both residential and commercial services in 46 U.S. states, Canada, Australia and the UK. Founded in 1998, PODS pioneered the portable moving and storage industry now preferred by many customers’ increasingly active and mobile lifestyles. To date, the PODS network has completed more than 600,000 long-distance moves, exceeded 3 million deliveries and has more than 160,000 PODS containers in service.
For more information, go to: www.mylocalpods.com.
Katie Yates, ext. 119