Firefighters give back through toy donation

Jodi Schellenberg
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It’s Christmas in July for the Salvation Army thanks to the Prince Albert Fire Department.

After a month-long campaign, PAFD donated a truck box full of toys to the Salvation Army, to help with their Christmas hampers.

“One of my co-workers at the fire hall mentioned that he had a lot of toys kicking around his house from his own kids and he came up with the idea that maybe we could start up a collection of toys over the month of July and make a donation somewhere at the end of the month,” said Adam Dziadyk, a member of the fire department’s charity committee.

Since the fire department works closely with the Salvation Army, they decided it would be the ideal organization to receive the donation.

The organization is “ecstatic” and thankful for the large donation of toys, Lt. Shawna Goulding said.

“The great thing is that while often we don’t want to think about the fact that Christmas is only five months away (but) it is only five months away, so this is a good start for us,” Goulding said. “So we can start thinking about the need and start planning proactively for what we might be facing come December.”

Dziadyk said that there are toys for children of all ages and they were all willing to donate.

“There was a lot of good response and there always is. It sounds like this is going to happen again next year because it was such a good response.”

The toys will go into storage for now, adding to the few the Salvation Army already have, where they will stay until at least November.

“Once Christmas gets closer, we will start a (toy) drive where we will be preparing and speaking with those that may be needing Christmas toys come to help with families that are in need,” Goulding said. “We will prepare what we call Christmas hampers that would include toys for children and families so that they can experience Christmas like others can experience Christmas.”

Although the fire department made a donation now, Goulding asks that individuals wait until they start asking for toys, since they don’t want the toys meant for Christmas to get mixed with those for the store.

“As Christmas comes closer, there will be advertisements made and awareness made to the general public as far as when and where we would like toy donations to be dropped off,” Goulding said.

Although individuals are being asked to hold off until November, businesses can make arrangements to give donations earlier.

“I would like to challenge other businesses and organizations in Prince Albert,” Dziadyk said. “All they have to do is talk to the Salvation Army and in the meantime collect toys and organize a drop off time. I know here at the Salvation Army they will very much appreciate that.”

Goulding agreed with him, adding they do appreciate any donations they receive.

“That is great to get the community involved to help the community, there is no other way to do that but to do it with each other.”

Organizations: Salvation Army

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