East Valley firefighters collect toys for needy families - FOX 35 News Orlando

East Valley firefighters collect toys for needy families

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MESA, Ariz. -

East valley firefighters are doing their best to spread holiday cheer to children in need, but they can't do it alone. On Friday, firefighters collected toys to give to children they've adopted for the holiday season.

This time of year at K-mart stores, you typically see parents shopping for their children and little ones picking out their own gifts, but on Friday, families bought gifts for children they don't even know.

Firefighters depend on people like Judy Branom to make Christmas special for children who otherwise wouldn't get any gifts.

"My kids and I decided instead of exchanging gifts we'd just buy for somebody else," she said.

For donors like Cami Merrell, the question isn't whether or not to give, but what to give.

"You think, should I get something big or one person or do I get several things for more than one person," she said.

Tyler Reese is learning the power of a community at a young age.

After dropping off his donation, he even got to play on a fire truck and take pictures with his sisters.

All of the toys that fill the truck will be given to 30 families that firefighters adopted at Whittier Elementary in Mesa and families that crews have come across on their shifts.  It's not just toys that they need.

"The families are requesting socks, underwear, jackets..really the bare necessities to keep their kids warm and safe going to school," said East Valley Firefighter Charities' Cori Hayes.

Judy hopes that enough people pitch in to give the kids both what they need and what they want this holiday.

"Every kid needs a toy on Christmas," she said.

Firefighters will personally deliver the toys straight from their trucks.

If you'd like to make a donation, you can drop off toys at any Mesa Fire Department location.

Online:
firefightercharities.com
www.mesaaz.gov/fire

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