CHULA VISTA, Calif. — Chula Vista police partnered with community sponsors Monday to make sure local children have the Christmas they deserve.

“This year we’ve had so many churches, businesses, Starbucks, Walmart … all these companies have come out and supported us with our toy drive to make sure that we lift the spirits up of these children,” Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy told FOX 5. “It’s about lifting people’s spirits and this, to me, is what Christmas is all about.”

More than 500 families in need were invited and given a voucher to attend the event.

This is the 18th year the department has carried on the tradition, helping thousands of families over the past nearly two decades. The event was formerly known as “Giving Thanks With LaDainian Tomlinson.”