On Thursday, Holiday Inn employees waded through the stuffed animals, electronic cars and footballs that they had collected, with the assistance of one of their key partners in the gift drive, the Burbank Police Department Air Unit.
"We're the elves," said Dale Ferency, an air unit officer.
After Hoffman collects the gifts she hands them over to the Police Department, who do a gift-drive of their own.
"We've always been close to the Police Department," Hoffman said.
Air Unit Sgt. Bobby Quesada helped foster the relationship, Hoffman said explained, after the department held a holiday party at the hotel.
"That gave him the idea," Hoffman said. "Then one day he took the initiative and said, 'We'll collect gifts the next time we have a party.'"
Hoffman said she lets the Police Department decide where the gifts ultimately end up.
"I thought they would know where to send it," she said.
The gifts have been donated to the Family Service Agency of Burbank since the program's start.
"We have families that we'll be calling and telling that there are toys," said Pat Smola, office administrator for the service agency.
The agency, Smola explained, sets up the gifts in a room they've dubbed "Santa's Room Elite," where families can wander through and select gifts for their children.
"A lot of people that come through can't afford too many gifts of their own," she said. "By tonight all these presents will be gone."
* LAUREN HILGERS covers education. She may be reached at (818) 637-3205 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.