Close to 5,000 elementary school-age students in the Val Verde Unified School District will receive free Christmas gifts Saturday in Perris during a giveaway organized by the district’s police department to brighten the Holidays for underprivileged children.

The fifth annual “Chief’s Toy Chest” is slated from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the campus of Val Verde High School.

VVUSD Police Department spokesman Max Garcia said Santa Claus will be on hand to distribute gifts, along with officers, Explorer scouts, agency support personnel and representatives from some of the 13 schools whose students will be receiving the presents.

“We’ll be giving out Barbies, Hot Wheels, sports gear, Match Box cars, Play-Doh — just a whole range of things for kids,” Garcia told City News Service.

All of the schools will have Christmas-themed booths, where students can take pictures with Santa before retrieving their free toy, according to Garcia.

He said the school with the best decorations will be awarded with funds for a free pizza party.

The event was made possible via donations from police personnel, community groups and residents.

The school district spans the north end of Perris and south end of Moreno Valley, as well as a portion of unincorporated Riverside County, with a total enrollment of about 20,000.

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