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Police spreading joy
Willows police are making a list and checking it twice.
But instead of checking to see if a child has been naughty or nice, the Willows and Orland police departments and the California Highway Patrol have vowed to make sure every child in need will have toys under the tree and food in their bellies on Christmas Day.
Taking part in two national campaigns, the Toys For Tots program and Cans to Cops, police Chief Bill Spears said the people of Willows have again shown themselves to be very generous.
"We should have enough toys for each child to receive three gifts and a book," Spears said.
The last of the toys collected during the campaign were taken to Chico on Friday, said Corbin.
"It was nice to see all the toys," Corbin said. "The little bicycles are just precious."
In addition to the toys donated by residents, the Willows Walmart donated a $1,000 gift card to purchase toys for the program.
Spears used part of the donation to shop for special savings on Black Friday, and will use the rest today to fill in any gap on age groups traditionally undeserved by general donations.
Toys collected by the Willows and Orland Police departments and the CHP will be distributed to about 400 Glenn County children.
Spears said 145 children signed up for toys in Willows.
This is the fourth year Willows police have participated in the US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.
Spears, a former Marine, said Toys for Tots has distributed more than 400 million toys to needy children since it began in 1947.
In addition to the Toys for Tots program, the Willows Police Department will continue to collect canned food for the Glenn County Food Bank in Willows through the end of the year.
Spears said the Willows High School student body stepped up efforts to collect food this year by holding a competition between classes, but that more food will be needed to get hungry families through the holidays and the winter months.
Canned food will be accepted at the Willows Police Department and at all Toys for Tots locations through Dec. 31.
Spears is also asking residents to decorate through New Year's Day with a single blue light in their window to honor emergency responders that have lost their lives helping others.
Project Blue Light was started in Philadelphia in 2005 after a woman decorated her home with blue Christmas lights to honor her son, a police officer killed in action that same year, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Organization.
"By displaying blue lights, you will show that you support America's law enforcement officers," Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said Monday in a statement. "Any police officer passing by it on some dark, cold winter's night will be warmed by the kindness it implies."
CONTACT Susan Meeker at 934-6800 or email@example.com.