Volunteers of all ages joined together Saturday to support people in the community who need it most.

F.O.R. Maricopa food bank hosted its annual Christmas carnival and food box/toy distribution at Maricopa Wells Middle School, rallying volunteers to take part in carnival activities and the distribution of toys and food to 350 families, including 1,200 children.

“We would not have this event without the volunteers.” said F.O.R. board member, Lisa Rollins.

The event was split into two rooms. The multi-purpose room was used for the carnival, complete with a jump house, mini batting cage and a visit from Santa Claus. The gym was a distribution center, where parents were given a number that correlated with the number on a black plastic bag stuffed with toys for Christmas.

Rollins said the carnival provided opportunities for parents to drop off their children to wrap the gifts they had received in donations.

“It’s not from the community, it’s not the food bank,” Rollins said. “It gets to be from Santa.”

Maricopa Police Department volunteer Trecia Koozer distributed the numbered bags of toys to parents as their children played in the carnival.

“It might be one year a family needs help, it might be five years that a family needs help.” said Koozer.

Koozer’s son assisted during the event.

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