On Saturday, more than 1,500 residents of Bay Point were treated to some Holiday cheer by the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff who hosted their annual Bay Point Christmas Dinner and Toy Giveaway event.
The event took place at the Ambrose Community Center where a line was formed from the door and overflowed onto the street. As attendees walked through the door, they are given a small toy, walk down a hallway and are greeted by members of the Sheriffs Office.
They then are able to meet Santa and take photographs. They then are provided with an age appropriate toy before having the option to have a meal.
According Lt. Paul O’Mary, the event gives away a little over 1,400 toys and they serve about 900 Christmas dinners with the help of volunteers.
“I have no budget for this event, this is only as large as the community donations they receive,” explained O’Mary. “We look forward to this event every year.”
Funding comes from a grant by the Keller Canyon Mitigation Fund along with local businesses which include Criterian Catalyst, Henkel, Golden State Water, Mt. Diablo Sanitation District, Deputy Sheriffs Association and more. Toy donations come from events such as their recent stuff the cruiser.
“This is so heartwarming to see these well deserving kids, without our help, who may get very little or no Christmas at all, now they receive a nice toy and a traditional Christmas dinner,” explained O’Mary. “This event is an opportunity for us to strengthen our relationship with this community, my job as a police officer is not just about taking people to jail or writing a traffic ticket, my job is giving back to the community and the citizens we serve to make it better for everyone.”
“Sheriff Livingston is a huge advocate of community policing, he encourages us to come out here to improve the quality of life and this is just one small step and strengthen our relation and bond with the community,” said O’Mary. “If you look around, not only our my deputies out here volunteering their time, but you will see their families also volunteering. It means a lot, they too realize its about quality of life and improving this community.
He added that by improving the quality of life and becoming closer to the community, Bay Point is seeing a drop in crime and more support.
Also during the event, Supervisor Federal Glovers Office donated photography services to provide families with a Christmas photo. The Contra Costa County Library was also in attendance providing free books for families.
More photos of event can be viewed in full size form on our Facebook page.