With the holiday season approaching, Waxahachie firefighters are gearing up for their annual “Toys for Kids” toy drive. Firefighters look to help from 50 to 75 families in need this year.

The department’s toy drive aids families after the deadline to participate in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program has passed, with a goal to have at least one new toy for a child to unwrap Christmas morning.

Toys for Kids coordinator Julio Hernandez said he’s proud of how the community comes together each year to help families.

“The citizens in Waxahachie always come through and donate a lot of toys,” he said. “It is heartwarming to help people who are in need.

“I always feel like our city supports our fire department and this is one thing that we can do to help give back to our community,” Hernandez said. “It is a lot of work but, at the end of the day, it is very gratifying knowing that we helped those people.”

The drive accepts unwrapped new and unused toys for ages infant to 16 years old. The only items not accepted are stuffed animals due to unknown conditions and history.

Donations may be dropped off at Station 1, located at 408 W. Main St.; Station 2, located at 1601 Cleaver St.; and Station 3, located at 200 YMCA Drive. Any monetary donations should be dropped off at the department’s administration offices at 407 Water St.

Funds donated to the drive are managed through an account with the city of Waxahachie’s Finance Department. Any remaining funds will be used in the next year’s toy drive.

Other donation sites include Life Middle School at 3295 U.S. Highway 77 and the Waxahachie Sun office, 200 N. Rogers St., Suite B, in downtown Waxahachie.

Signups for families to be helped by the drive are done at the Salvation Army’s offices at 620 Farley St. and not at the fire department.

Firefighters will be on-site to collect toys at Walmart, 1200 N. U.S. Highway 77, on Saturday, Dec. 7. The last collection day for toys is Friday, Dec. 13, with toy distribution set for Saturday, Dec. 14.

Hernandez said any help with the drive would be appreciated.   

“We look forward to helping people,” he said. “The citizens of Waxahachie always pull through and donate a lot of toys. We are looking forward to doing it again this year.”

Questions about the drive can be sent to Hernandez by email at jhernandez@waxahachiefire.org.

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