One of the many depressing consequences of the coronavirus pandemic is it seems to be greatly reducing the number of toys donated to kids in need ... but first responders in L.A. are stepping up, again, to meet the challenge.
TMZ's learned from sources close to L.A. police and firefighters ... donations are down as much as 50 percent compared to last year at some donation locations, and less than normal across the board.
Part of the reason, we're told, is that the law enforcement agencies have not been able to hold their big annual toy drives in-person due to COVID-19 restrictions. On top of that, there's less awareness of toy drives due to people being stuck at home ... and finally, many people simply can't afford to donate because they've lost their jobs.
The good news -- many people who are able to give are doing so, and various police departments and L.A. County Fire are promoting the option of online donating. CHP is also utilizing TEXT TOYS 76278 to help bridge their toy donation gap this year. We're told several cops and firefighters are also reaching into their own pockets to help make up the difference.
Our sources say the L.A. police and fire workers are devising plans to properly disinfect all the toys and use contactless delivery to get them to kids.
It's not the same as Christmases past, but it's 2020 ... and everyone's doing their best.