For the past three years Alan Campos, owner of SCV iRepair, has spent his Christmas Day donating toys to children and families at the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles.
The annual donations began as a personal passion project for the young entrepreneur after he saw the conditions people were living in on Skid Row.
“I went down there a couple times and, after seeing the atmosphere and environment, I wanted to do something for the kids,” Campos said.
After reaching out to Union Rescue Mission, Campos decided to collect, wrap and donate toys by himself to give to the children each year.
“Putting a smile on the kids’ faces is priceless,” Campos said.
This year the donation project grew to include community members throughout the Santa Clarita Valley after Campos got his family and friends involved.
“Alan Campos and my son have grown up together since first grade and he’s a part of our family,” said Valencia resident Lori Bledsoe, whose son Tommy is best friends with Campos. “This year I said I wanted to participate and I made a post on Facebook and a lot of my friends and family donated toys.”
Campos also gathered gifts by hosting his own ugly Christmas sweater party where friends were told they could attend if they brought a toy or a gift.
“Alan had an ugly sweater party and everyone brought toys to that and people dropped toys off at the iPhone stores,” Bledsoe said.
Then, this past weekend, Bledsoe and Campos gathered their friends together to have a gift-wrapping party at Bledsoe’s home.
During the event, the group wrapped more than 300 Christmas toys that it plans to bring to the Union Rescue Mission on Christmas Day.
“We’re the only ones taking gifts to the Rescue Mission,” Bledsoe said. “They don’t have a Santa so my son, Tommy, is going to dress up as Santa.”
Campos said he hopes to continue the gift donations and get more community members involved each year.
“Lori has definitely stepped in this year and made it something bigger,” he said. “We hope to continue it and make it bigger every year.”
In addition to his annual donations to the Union Rescue Mission, Campos donates part of his company’s profits to the SCV Food Pantry and gives an annual $1,000 scholarship to a student at his alma mater, California State University Northridge (CSUN).
“I’ve been surrounded by so many good people in my life and that rubs off on you,” Campos said. “This community is just amazing, it’s full of people like that. They come together to help others.”
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