Calle 16 Gives Back with Community Toy Drive in Phoenix This Sunday

'Tis the season for giving and charity, and this Sunday, December 8, the community in the Calle 16 district is doing its part.

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This isn't the first time the crew at Calle 16 has played Santa. Previous lowrider toy drives have been packed with neighbors from the Coronado district and visitors from across the Valley. The joint effort, also sponsored by Barrio Cafe and Viejitos Car Club, provides a nice reprieve from the usual hustle and bustle of any area mall this time of year.

Expect to see plenty of classic cars boasting everything from clean, metallic paint jobs to intricate airbrush designs while a live DJ emcees the experience with a combination of old school hip-hop and classic '50s tunes, reflective of each auto. Barrio Cafe, an anchor in the city's expansive Mexican food scene, will provide food and drinks, including tacos and tamales, the latter a holiday tradition.

Since its inception in mid-October of 2010, mere months after the Grand Canyon State found itself in the national spotlight for SB 1070, the Calle 16 Mural Project has been hailed as the city's version of a Little Mexico, giving some much needed character to a commuter street that had gone otherwise ignored.

Today, the walls of businesses proudly display large mural pieces from the likes of CaseBeer, Gennaro Garcia and Hugo Medina, and the community has the feel of a family. Events like community painting days, art supply drives, and Sunday's toy drive help to further those relationships.

Gift givers are asked to bring unwrapped, unopened toys for donation, benefiting Crisis Nursery, the longest-running children's shelter in Phoenix. Since its creation in 1977, the center has provided temporary housing and care for more than 20,000 children who have experienced traumatic cases of abuse and neglect. At a time when Arizona's Child Protective Services office is being accused of ignoring around 6,500 allegations of child endangerment, contributions to these life-saving children's centers seem particularly poignant.

Roll through from noon until mid-afternoon on 16th Street, south of Thomas Road. Admission is $5 or free with a donation of a toy. Cost of entry into the car show is an unwrapped toy. Visit the Calle 16 Facebook page for details.

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