For over 20 years, the Richmond/El Cerrito-Kensington Firefighters’ Annual Toy Program has provided holiday cheer for disadvantaged children living in the West Contra Costa County communities of Richmond, El Cerrito, Kensington, Rodeo, Crockett, Pinole, Hercules, San Pablo, and El Sobrante, and also in Albany. The need for donated holiday gifts is very great this year because of how hard the recession has hit many of our families.
The firefighters are currently accepting donations of new non-violent toys, games, balls and other sports equipment, books, and other fun gifts for children ages 0-12 years, as well as monetary/gift card donations that can be used to purchase gifts. Candy canes and other stocking stuffers are also welcomed.
In addition to donating recently purchased gifts, I’ve also found this is a great opportunity to re-gift non-dated toys, sports equipment, and other age-appropriate gifts that your kids or grandkids outgrew without using or that you had picked up at a sale but never used.
Donations can be dropped off at any West County Fire Department, including weekends and evenings. Just ring their doorbell and a firefighter will help you bring things in from your car. If you have kids or grandkids, give them the wonderful experience of participating in community giving by letting them help pick out gifts and handing them to a firefighter at the station. Monetary donations are also accepted online via the Toy Program website, www.toyprogram.org.
Please help our firefighters make the holidays a little brighter and less stressful this year for our many families in need by dropping off your donations this coming week at your local fire station.
Nancy Gordon is president of the El Cerrito High School PTSA.
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