LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – At the age of 7, Joshua Vazquez received his first toy from the California Highway Patrol’s CHiPs For Kids toy drive – a program KCBS has been a part of for three decades. Now at 19 – he’s returning the favor.
The toy Joshua received from CHiPs For Kids was a “Rip Stick” skateboard. He says it was that toy that inspired him to give back one day.
“The joy that it gave me being able to receive a gift like that, I was like maybe I want to be able to bring someone else the joy like that,” said Vazquez.
At age 19, he joined the CHP Explorers program in the hopes of one day becoming an officer. On Wednesday night, Vazquez and a couple of his fellow Explorers surprised a deserving East Los Angeles family of two young boys and two young girls with a lot of gifts.
“Joshua is fairly new to our program, but he’s stepped up as a leader in the very short time he’s been here,” said CHP Officer Alexis Briano. “He’s been here for about a month and a half now and he’s been to all the community events that he can go to.”
A “pay it forward” moment about 12 years in the making — was a moment that came full circle for Vazquez.
“Seeing the kids be happy really brings me back to the joy I felt,” he said.