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Canyon Lake resident donates more than 100 toys to fire department toy drive

Canyon Lake resident Leslie Nettles delivers 120 toys to the Canyon Lake Fire Department. Nettles is pictured with Reserve Firefighter Michael Longobardo. Photo provided by the Canyon Lake Fire Department.

Canyon Lake resident Leslie Nettles demonstrated her generosity by donating 120 toys to the Canyon Lake Fire Department’s Spark of Love Toy Drive.

Initially intending to contribute only two or three toys, Nettles felt a compelling urge to enhance her support, ultimately deciding to donate $500 worth of toys. Over the subsequent weeks, Nettles purchased batches of toys totaling $200 and $300.

Canyon Lake firefighters show off some of the toys the community donated for the fire department’s Spark of Love Toy Drive. Photo provided by the Canyon Lake Fire Department.

Mindful of making a broad impact, Nettles chose to purchase smaller toys instead of a few larger ones. This decision aimed to ensure that more children could experience the joy of unwrapping a gift on Christmas morning. Her substantial donation contributed significantly to the two SUVs full of donations the Canyon Lake Fire Department collected for Spark of Love.

“The Canyon Lake Fire Department is grateful to all who donated to the Spark of Love Toy Drive,” Fire Chief Jeff LaTendresse said. “The outpouring of support from the community was amazing, but for one person to donate 120 toys individually is beyond compare. There are people in the world who impact their communities in so many different ways, but this donation to help children in need goes above and beyond any expectations. We thank Leslie for her generous donation and know that they will bring smiles to many children. Thank you to the amazing people in this town.”

In addition to her toy donation, Nettles, a pet sitter by trade, purchased and donated about 15 blankets to Animal Friends of the Valleys, something she does every year.

“I’m always there for those in need and will always do what I can to help,” Nettles said. She hopes her act of kindness will inspire others to give during the holiday and throughout the year.

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