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Toy Drive promotes community support

Dec. 20 is the first pickup day for the Russellville Fire Department’s Helping Santa Toy Drive, and Capt. Randy Seal said there was a good response of donations this year.

“It looks like we’re going to be able to give more per child this year than in some previous years,” Seal said.

In this 10th year of the toy drive, the RFD is planning to be able to provide gift assistance to about 200 children, Seal said.

At the fire station, there is a room full of toys of all kinds ready to be distributed, including about 30 bicycles. Like in previous years, there are more 4-6-year-old toys than any other age group, but Seal said there are usually more 4-6-year-olds on the list, anyway.

“It’s hard to buy for the 13-15 and 0-1 age groups,” he said.

The number of people who have applied for assistance has decreased over the years for various reasons, but one reason brings a smile to Seal’s face.

“I’ve been able to see families who have needed assistance in the past rise with the economy and come back and donate to the program,” he said.

That sense of community and giving back is what the toy drive is all about, and Seal said the fire department is happy to help others in this way.