Oshkosh Fire Department begins annual food, toy drive

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 10:49 PM CST
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - Santa Claus joined members of the Oshkosh Fire Department as they made their way through neighborhoods on the south side of the city to collect food and toys for the Salvation Army Tuesday night.

Firefighters flashed lights and loud sirens in an effort to get people out of their homes.

“Yeah, cuz I forgot all about it. Awesome. We heard the sirens and were like wow, it’s Santa Claus. So we come on out,” said Oshkosh donator David Culver.

Community members are able to donate toys and nonperishable items to the Salvation Army.

“We just want new unopened toys, nonperishable food items. And we also accept gift cards for teenagers,” said Oshkosh firefighter Hunter Resop.

It’s a tradition that began almost a quarter century ago, which officials say started out pretty small, but every year, it has gotten bigger. Last year, the event helped 700 familes, and more than 2,000 children alone.

The event has also inspired generations to give back.

“We just look forward to giving back to the community, and just kind of teaching the kids about it,” said Nikki Valdez, another donor in Oshkosh.

However, the event hasn’t been the same since 2019, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

throughout the next couple of weeks, the Oshkosh Fire Department will continue to parade through each neighborhood to take toy donations to help out families for Christmas. You can also bring donations to any of the city’s six fire stations until December 12.

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