VISTA, Calif —
For more than three decades, a man known as the "Toy Man" has opened his heart and wallet to help veterans and families in need every holiday season.
In this Zevely Zone, Jeffrey Olsen told me who he is honoring this year with his act of kindness.
The North Pole may be where Santa Claus lives, but the Toy Man lives a bit closer in Vista. We found Jeffrey's driveway filled with brand new dolls, toy cars, and jackets.
"Morning!" said Jeffrey, who was quietly going about his business as he piled up presents for people in need.
"That is going to help out 452 people," said Jeffrey.
The Toy Man started collecting, buying, and donating toys for strangers back in 1989.
The office of state Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath honored Jeffrey this year. His decades of service total 55,312 donations and counting.
"That is incredible," said Phillip Sammuli from Armed Services YMCA.
He told us the jackets and sweaters will warm the hearts of military families in more ways than one.
"He's been working on this all year, he said that he had some good investments and now instead of going on some Hawaiian adventure vacation, he is actually buying gifts for the military families," said Phillip.
Armed Services YMCA serves 66,000 military families a year.
In 2021 it was their 100th year of service.
"Our first donor was Abraham Lincoln, so that's pretty amazing," said Phillip.
So is the Toy Man with his humble and huge heart.
"It's more than I ever did before," said Jeffrey, who says he just can't stop thinking about people suffering the pain of hunger and financial stress unable to buy holiday gifts.
"I think I will always have that in me for as long as I live," said Jeffrey.
His mother Olga marvels at a son who starts this process in March and doesn't stop until he has a mountain of gifts.
"The kids needs toys. Yes, that's what he said they need toys," said Olga.
Jeffrey did well with the stock market and enjoys using his profits to surprise people.
"I also have this for you," said Jeffrey.
He treated us with a box of fudge and a singing Christmas card, forcing us to update the total gift count.
The new total? 55,313 gifts!
"It makes me feel good to see people being helped," said Jeffrey, who also donated 1,600 pounds of food this year to the Salvation Army.
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