Dayton Fire Department hosting Christmas toy drive

Dayton Fire Department is continuing its tradition of providing for families in need for Christmas by hosting a toy drive and is looking for support for the community to make this year’s event a success.

Every year, the fire department supports dozens of families and elderly residents in the community. Qualifying families can choose between Christmas gifts for all their children or food, depending on their individual needs. Food baskets are also given to elderly residents in need.

The Dayton community can help out by dropping toys in the bins that are set up at Dayton City Hall, Dayton Police Department and Jones Public Library (located inside the Dayton Community Center). The drop-off times will depend on when those buildings are open. The police department is the only building of the three that is open 24 hours per day, so after-hours toy donations may be made there. All toys must be new; no used toys will be accepted.

According to Dayton City Councilman and Firefighter Alvin Burress, the toy drive typically helps as many as 100 children.

“It depends on how many applications we get and how many children are in a family,” he said. “The money for other presents and food comes from Dayton Fire Department or financial donations made to the fire department for the toy drive.”

Applications may be picked up at Dayton Police Department, 1001 Bill Moreau Dr., Dayton, and must be submitted by Friday, Dec. 13. The applications will be reviewed and recipients will be selected by Dec. 18.

“We want to make sure the toys are actually going to families in need,” Burress.

Once the final list of recipients is ready, the toys will go to the Hightower Unit, a Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison in Dayton, where inmates will wrap the presents.

“The plan this year is that the people who were selected will come to the Dayton Community Center on Dec. 21 to pick up their toys or food,” Burress said. “Some of the food baskets will be delivered by firefighters to the elderly homebound residents.”

Burress said that firefighters look forward to the event every year because of their love of the community.

“We believe that ‘protect and serve’ doesn’t just mean we show up for fires,” he said. “We are here to help and believe that no kid should ever go without at Christmastime.”

Dayton Fire Department was established in 1930. Today, it has 36 active members.

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