LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — At the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Lincoln Heights hundreds of families spent hours in line Saturday to find some much-needed Christmas cheer.

Rosa Juizar’s three children were eager to meet and take a photo with Santa.

“I finally get to see him in person,” Brandon Cazares said.

Law enforcement by trade, Santa’s helpers by choice, CHP officers handed out surprises donated through the annual “CHiPs for Kids” toy drive.

“Even just seeing them waiting in line, that excitement builds,” CHP Officer Jose Nunez said.  “We hope we give them the right toy and get them excited throughout the holiday season.”

In addition to toys, families also received free bags of food and even shoes.

Georgina Barragon says she loves her new Nikes.

“They’re really pretty and I like them so much,” she said.

The executive director of St. Vincent de Paul says there’s now a greater need than what they’ve seen before.

“So I think the people at this level have not survived the recession, and they’re still struggling,” David Fields said. “I have mothers telling me if it was not for us today their kids would not have shoes for Christmas.”


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