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Local man hosts toy run for hard-to-reach Camp Fire families

Volunteer Santa Herbie Beck has organized a Camp Fire outreach toy drive to deliver gifts in hard-to-reach places where fire evacuees have taken shelter, many on the outskirts of Butte County. He will make his run Dec. 22. Photo by Roni Java

They say find a need and fill it, so Plumas County resident Herbie Beck of Quincy is off to a great start on a personal holiday mission — delivering toys by Dec. 22 to Butte County’s Camp Fire evacuees who have taken refuge in hard-to-reach places outside the fire devastation zone.

“I have to thank the Community United Methodist Church in Quincy for starting me off with a donation of $500 in new, unwrapped toys,” Beck said Dec. 14. “That’s extremely generous and it will make Christmas a lot brighter for the Camp Fire families I intend to visit.”

As one of Santa’s many helpers this month, and in addition to the several organized toy drives being sponsored throughout the region, Beck has called upon his connections throughout the county to help gather toy donations for a series of targeted delivery runs he’ll make to bring cheer to Camp Fire evacuees who have spread throughout Butte County, families who are likely not officially part of an organized shelter operation.

“I’ve been making runs with supplies through Angels Among Us since the fire began, but I’m doing this project on my own because I’ve seen so many of the evacuees camped out way outside the (fire) area,” Beck explained. “They’re in tents and a lot are still in their cars. Some tried to go where they have family or friends or somebody who will let them put an RV or a tent on their property.”

He’s making arrangements to bring toys to those kinds of locations, with assistance and coordination from relief organizations, churches and nonprofits, he said.

“They’re getting ample help in Chico, it’s the people in the outskirts who need help the most,” Beck added. “Concow is one of those places and I just received a donation of 500 lbs. of dog food that I’ll be taking to those folks, too. It’s not toys, but it’s something they really need.”

To make his Santa run(s) possible, Beck has established collection points for new, unwrapped toys in Portola and Quincy. More locations may be added in other parts of the county, so please check with him if you’d like to help.

And like any good volunteer Santa, Beck uses his own truck for all of his pick-ups and deliveries, so donations to help defray his transportation expenses are also welcome.

For more information, contact Beck by cell phone at 394-0451 or call his daughter and elf-in-charge Brooke Dayton at 616-1819.

Camp Fire outreach toy drive

Donations of new, unwrapped toys for hard-to-reach evacuees of the Butte County Camp Fire are being accepted at the following locations.

Portola

The Bank Club

190 Commercial St.

New 2 You Thrift Store

15 West Sierra Ave.

Pizza Factory

197 Commercial St.

Secondhand Rose Furniture

209 Commercial St.

Quincy

Express Coffee Shop Restaurant

875 East Main St.

Healthy Bodies Gym

in the Safeway shopping center

Main Street Sports Bar Lounge

395 Main St.

Plumas Club (Plumie’s)

443 Main St.

Quincy Thrift and Co.

515 Main St.

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