Community members are invited to join the Ventura Police Department for coffee, conversation, and a toy drive at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, located at 1780 S. Victoria Avenue in Ventura. The free event will be hosted on December 9, 2021, from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. Coffee with a Cop provides an opportunity for residents, students, and kids to engage with local police officers and ask questions, share feedback, and get to know the men and women who patrol Ventura’s neighborhoods.
New, unwrapped toys and gift cards donated at this Coffee with a Cop will support the 12th annual Castro Family Toy Drive serving patients and siblings of the Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at the Ventura County Medical Center (VCMC).
“This is the first Coffee with a Cop event we’ve hosted since the pandemic started. Coffee with a Cop serves as a great opportunity for the community to get to know our officers, build relationships, and engage in community-wide conversations,” said Police Chief Darin Schindler. “This free event will support a great, local cause while providing quality time with our residents.”
The majority of contacts Ventura Police Officers have with the public often happen during emergencies or extremely emotional incidents. Those situations are not always the most effective time to have a friendly conversation with officers. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction.
Residents unable to attend to donate a toy are encouraged to drop-off toy donations for the Castro Family Toy Drive at the Ventura Police Headquarters, located at 1425 Dowell Drive. For additional information, please contact Emily Graves, Community Outreach Specialist with the Ventura Police Department, at [email protected].
Background on Castro Family Toy Drive:
In 2008, Corey Castro was seven years old and was treated for Gorham’s Disease at VCMC, a rare bone disease. As a patient, he was asked if he wanted to pick a toy from the center’s toy box. Corey discovered the toy box needed more toys. Corey and his sister Paige asked their family if they could help fill the box for other children receiving treatment. The Castro Family, in partnership with the Ventura Police Department and the Ventura Police Community Foundation, worked to make that dream a reality and has since provided toys and gifts to more than 2,500 patients and their siblings. The 2020 toy drive kept the toy box full through August 2021.