December 17, 2018
By Kelli Gile, WVUSD Office of Community Resources
DIAMOND BAR, CA—Community members dug into their pockets on Monday to help give local children a holiday to remember.
In just a few hours, hundreds of new toy donations were dropped off during Pack-A-Patrol-Car held 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. in front of the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Diamond Bar.
Deputy Sheriff Aaron Scheller, from the Diamond Bar-Walnut Station, spearheaded the fundraising drive held in partnership with several local businesses.
By 10:30 a.m., the trunk of Scheller’s patrol SUV and three collection boxes were already packed to the brim.
“I’m overwhelmed,” he exclaimed while shaking hands with each person who dropped off an unwrapped toy, game, puzzle, or stuffed animal.
Scheller said he plans to personally deliver the presents to deserving children from the 14 elementary and middle schools he works with in the City of Diamond Bar just in time for Christmas.
“These gifts will be for families that don’t have anything under their trees,” he said.
“We want the kids to open the presents on Christmas day.”
Diamond Bar High School Workability Transition students were also on hand accepting donations at the fundraising drive held on December 17.
The students alternate working at three retail stores in the community - Walmart, Smart & Final, and Round Table Pizza - two mornings each week gaining employment skills.
“Walmart has opened their hearts and doors to us,” said Transition/Workability I Specialist Patricia Dimas of the new partnership.
“And they are including our students in events like this!”
Students will already have valuable work experience, skills, and a resume when they graduate from high school, explained special education teacher Tanya Aparicio.
“It’s meaningful and they love it!” she said.
“Look at all the toys in the truck!” said senior Nathaniel Tabesh who participated in the Workability program for the past two years.
“I think this is a good way to help out the community,” he added.
Walmart manager Jesse Barajas, dressed as Santa, presented a $750 check to Principal Dr. Reuben Jones in support of the school's special education program.
The one thing Deputy Scheller said he didn’t think of when planning the new event was wrapping all the gifts.
“It’s going to take all of Santa’s elves (the senior patrol volunteers) to get this job done in just one evening!” he said.
The Giving Season! Deputy Sheriff Aaron Scheller, Walmart manager Jesse Barajas, and Diamond Bar High Workability students collect donations during Pack-A-Patrol Car on December 17.
Diamond Bar High Workability students join Pack-A-Patrol Car holiday event spearheaded by Walnut Sheriff Deputy Aaron Scheller.
Community members drop off toys during the Pack-A-Patrol Car toy drive on December 17.
Diamond Bar High School Principal Dr. Reuben Jones accepts a generous donation from the Walmart Neighborhood Market store manager Jesse Barajas to support the school’s special education program on December 17.