Trenton Fire Department (TFD) had its hands full at “Santa’s Last Call” toy drive on Friday as a line that filled up the sidewalks behind the TFD Headquarters on Allen Street looped all the way to N Montgomery then over to Perry.
“The crowd that’s out here,” Kenneth Douglas, Director Of Fire and Emergency Services said, “Now, I’ll be quite honest with you, is bigger than what I thought it’d be.”
This was made possible by a committee that was set up to create and execute the Hero’s Holiday Initiative, an initiative that held different events with the Fire Department including the Food Drive that took place last week.
“Once the committee came together and decided that these were going to do things as far as the food giveaway and toy drive,” Douglas said, ” (We) really had to put it on a map and really get out there with the flyers, canvass the city grassroots effort, and to get a crowd out here down.”
Throughout the day the fire department handed out over 10,000 toys to 2,100 children and counting, according to the Fire Department. Walls handed out toys to children of all ages. “It makes me feel good because, you know what, it only takes one person to make a difference in somebody’s life…and this is how you do that. You come together as a community,” Walls said.
She was handing out toys to parents to go home a wrap gifts to leave under the tree on Christmas day. Parents like Irban Jackson, a Trenton resident who was picking up toys for his three little ones back at home.
“A lot of things go on (in) Trenton that we appreciate,” Jackson said, “and this is one of them…(It’s) hard but we try to make it (as) easy as possible. And I’m thankful for the Trenton Fire Department making it easy for us.”
Although the lines were long, kids were treated by waiting with stuffed animals handed out by Mayor Reed Gusciora, who walked down the line handing little frog stuffed animals as the kids huddled around him to receive it. “The one thing about the fire director is being prepared,” said Mayor Gusciora, “So he’s definitely a trooper. He’s gotten hundreds of donations from various organizations. We’re really proud of this fire department that’s really reaching out to the community. And this is the season of giving.”
Throughout the day, it was all hands on deck as volunteers with the Fire Department gave out plenty of presents to the community. “People can actually go home safe, go home happy, and know that the city actually cares about them. We are a giving city, we do a lot for the residents. And I’m glad to be part of that process with the City of Trenton,” Director Douglas said.
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