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RFD accepts applications for 2021 Helping Santa toy program

Applications for this year’s Helping Santa toy program can now be picked up from the Russellville Fire Department or Russellville Police Department.

Completed applications need to be submitted to the Russellville Police Department no later than Nov. 19, and all forms must be filled out completely in order to qualify for assistance.

“We have three days right before Christmas where parents can come and pick up toys for the kids they filled out applications for,” explained RFD Captain Randy Seal. “We put out flyers and talk to people to get the word out, both for those needing help and for those who want to donate. We always get a tremendous response from the community.”

Seal said the RFD calls businesses around town, and most will put out donation boxes. Donated toys are organized by age and gender. “We try to take care of everyone in the city on the first day, then the county residents, and on the third day, anybody outside the county who applied, if there are enough donations left,” Seal said. “The community has always been very supportive.”

He said some years have seen as many 700-800 applications and others as few as 250-300.

While some donate toys for the drive, others give monetary donations. Seal said monetary donations are used to buy what they need to take of the applications not covered through toy donations.

“Last year we had a lot of little things leftover of the stocking stuffer variety, and we went around town and gave them out to kids. We all enjoy helping out in this way, and it’s wonderful when we get to see the reactions of the children. That’s always such a blessing,” Seal said. “We try to help as many kids as we can.

“You never know what’s going on in people’s lives, and it’s rewarding to be able to help out in this way.”

Those interested in more information can call the Russellville Fire Department at 256-332-8761 or call Seal at the fire department at 256-324-0456.