1000 military families receive toys from Armed Forces YMCA

SAN DIEGO -- More than 1,000 families are scheduled to take part Wednesday in the Armed Forces YMCA's 27th annual Military Family Holiday Toy Program, in which participants will receive a mini-Christmas tree, two toys for each child and/or a bicycle.

The program is designed to help military families who often struggle to make ends meet in high-cost San Diego.

"Our military families sacrifice so much," said Tim Ney, YMCA executive director. "The Military Family Holiday Toy Program provides another opportunity to thank military members and ensure their families have a very Merry Christmas this holiday season."

The program receives support from defense contractor Northrop Grumman, the David C. Copley Foundation, the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club, the Padres and Gulls hockey team, among other organizations.

The YMCA said JMI Realty, HVAC contractor Jackson & Blanc and other partners donated 700 turkeys for the event.

Also Wednesday, nearly 80 children living at Father Joe's Villages will ride in limousines to enjoy a holiday party at the DoubleTree Hotel in Little Italy that features food, games, crafts and gifts delivered by Santa Claus. The kids come from families that had been homeless.

According to Father Joe's Villages, the party gives children ages 5 to 17 a chance to celebrate the holiday season and get away from their families' struggles for a little while.