In a few days, many youngsters who otherwise might have not enjoyed the magic of Christmas will find special gifts under their trees. That's because members from two local organizations, Cub Scout Pack 152 and the Sons of Italy, listened to their hearts and reached into their pockets.


Two weeks ago, representatives from the groups converged at Carmel Elementary School and presented Principal Chris Mauger and Assistant Principal Siobhan Weston with large bags full of new games, dolls and other toys and goodies.


"We didn't think we were able to help the families, but now we can," Mauger said.


Before school let out for Christmas break, Mauger and Weston delivered the goodies to those Carmel families in special need this year.


"We have quite a few needy students," Weston added.


For the givers, it was a labor of love and duty. Armed with money raised by the Sons of Italy and fellow scout families, Jesslyn Cleland, the chairwoman of the event, and her scouting son went to Kmart in Apple Valley to shop on Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year.


"My son and I stood in line all night," Cleland said.


Also helping to deliver the goodies was Ron Manna, the outgoing president of the Sons of Italy, incoming Sons of Italy President Grace Iacavino, Iacavino's daughter Gina Iacavino, who serves as the organization's chaplain, Rochelle Dunning, assistant cubmaster of Pack 152 and other helpers.


But this is just the beginning.


"We're starting the High Desert Toys for Tots," Cleland said.


The new group, she said, will ensure that toys donated locally will stay in the Victor Valley where they are needed.