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Firefighters collect toys for local children
by Bobby J. Smith
Nov 29, 2016 | 1753 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sometimes Santa comes in a sleigh. Sometimes he arrives in a firetruck.

The Corinth Fire Department is asking for the community’s help in providing a better Christmas for some local kids who may not be waking up to any gifts at all underneath the tree.

The new Stuff a Firetruck toy collection will gather toys for needy kids across the county.

“Firefighters are giving people by nature — that’s what we do — this time of the year even more,” said Corinth Fire Department Training Officer Jerry Whirley. “So I came up with the idea to stuff a firetruck with Christmas presents for kids who need them.”

Here’s how it works. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 3 to 9 p.m., the fire department will bring a trailer to Corinth Walmart, where they will collect toys.

Toys collected on Thursday will go to the Lighthouse Foundation’s Toy Store. Those collected on the next two days will go to especially in-need children identified by the Alcorn County Child Protective Services (CPS).

“We’re working with the Alcorn County chapter of CPS,” explained Whirley. “They have lots of children placed for various reasons in the county with family or friends. They’re not necessarily foster kids.”

With various organizations in the county helping to give a better Christmas to foster children, Whirley wanted to do something for those other kids who aren’t technically classified as foster children and not receiving the support that entails.

“This is for the kids not classified as foster kids but were still taken away from their families for whatever reasons,” he said. “The CPS said around 150 of these kids in our county alone that would possibly not be getting anything for Christmas because there’s no financial aid to help them.

“I felt like that was the priority — kids that were possibly not getting anything for Christmas,” Whirley said.

Whirley and his fellow firefighters will take the toys collected on Friday and Saturday to the CPS, where they will be distributed to the right kids.

The time is slated for 3 to 9 p.m., but the toy collectors will stay at Walmart as long as the job requires, Whirley said.

“I told everybody that if they’re still stuffing presents into the truck at nine o’clock, I’m not leaving,” said Whirley.

The event organizer said he hopes the toy collection will benefit from the Christmas spirit in the area this weekend.

“We’re hoping when everybody leaves the Christmas parade they’ll come donate a toy or two,” said Whirley.

Whirley also said that any group or organization that is looking for a good cause to contribute to can chip in with the Stuff a Firetruck toy drive.

“We’ve been told there are a couple of organizations wanting to do something like this but they didn’t know where to take anything,” he explained. “If that’s true, those groups can come stuff the trailer and I’ll make sure they get what’s collected at the Lighthouse or the Alcorn County CPS.”

The toy drive is seeking new toys for boys or girls of all age ranges, but especially young school-age kids, roughly around the ages of six to 10 years old. Also needed are diapers and baby wipes.

(For more information call Jerry Whirley at 415-2110.)
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