Holiday Train Gathers 3,000 Toys for Local Children
The holiday season will be a little brighter for thousands of children thanks to the generosity of people who donated toys to the Caltrain Holiday Train, presented by Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Dec. 6 and 7.
Unusually warm weather helped attract upwards of 25,000 people to the train stations to see the glittering spectacle and donate toys to children. More than 3,000 toys collected at the event were donated to The Salvation Army and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve's Toys for Tots program. Since the first Holiday Train in 2001, more than 50,000 toys have been distributed to needy Bay Area children.
The Holiday Train would not be possible without the generous financial support of Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Financial considerations forced the Holiday Train to go "dark" in 2010. In 2012, Silicon Valley Community Foundation stepped up to bring the beloved tradition back to the Peninsula. SVCF provided a $50,000 two-year seed grant to support the Holiday Train. The event also attracted individual donations from people in attendance at the station stops. In all, SVCF and the community have generated approximately $110,000 to support the 2014 Holiday Train. In 2013, Silicon Valley Community Foundation extended its support of the Holiday Train through 2014 and 2015.
Community support is a hallmark of the Holiday Train. Working at the San Francisco rail yard at Sixth and Townsend streets, volunteers spent every Saturday for two months decorating the train. Ambassadors at train stations helped pass out candy canes and programs. Local entertainers provided free entertainment at each station before the train arrived. Those people who volunteered to wear a holiday character costume were rewarded by the delighted response of the thousands of families who turned out for the event.
Thousands of children and adults came out to see the spectacularly lighted train, which visited eight train stations between San Francisco and Santa Clara over the weekend. Kids of all ages got a chance to meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, Frosty and other holiday characters and enjoy music provided by the San Francisco Corps of the Salvation Army band and on-board choruses.
The Holiday Train would not be possible without generous support for everything from decorations and wiring to costumes.
The Handel Sunrise Foundation and Parsons are "Conductor" Sponsors. Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation and Linear Technology Corporation are "Trainmaster" Sponsors. Robert Half International is a "Railway" Sponsor. "Community" Sponsors are Mid Peninsula Orthodontics, Moss Adams, LLP and Woodruff-Sawyer & Company. Peninsula Storage is a "Neighborhood" Sponsor.
Bayside Equipment Company of Redwood City donated the use of a generator to light up the decorations. Other in-kind sponsors include Five Little Monkeys, Jim's Handyman Services, Locando Positano Restaurant in San Carlos, Nothing Bundt Cakes in San Carlos and Millbrae, Peet's Coffee & Tea, Peterson Technical Services, Safeway Inc., and the Subway store located in the San Francisco Caltrain Station.
Owned and operated by the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, Caltrain provides commuter rail service from San Francisco to San Jose, with limited commute service to Gilroy. Caltrain serves 60,000 riders every weekday. For more information on fares and schedules, call 1.800.660.4287 (TTY 650.508.6448) or visit www.caltrain.com. “Like” Caltrain on Facebook at www.facebook.com/caltrain and follow us on Twitter @Caltrain_News.
About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation makes all forms of philanthropy more powerful. We serve as a catalyst and leader for innovative solutions to our region’s most challenging problems, and through our donors we award more money to charities than any other community foundation in the United States. SVCF has more than $6 billion in assets under management. As Silicon Valley’s center of philanthropy, we provide thousands of individuals, families and corporations with simple and effective ways to give locally and around the world. Find out more at www.siliconvalleycf.org.
Caltrain - Christine Dunn, 650.508.6238
Silicon Valley Community Foundation - Sue McAllister, 650.450.5513