The south division of the Bryan County Fire Department is holding its annual toy drive from now until Saturday, Dec. 21.
The drive is accepting toy donations for children ages 0 to 12-years-old who could use some Christmas spirit to help make their holiday a little brighter.
The program, also known as the ‘Santa Run,’ has gift drop off points at all the South Bryan fire stations, Royal Oak Carwash and Beef‘O’Bradys. Evening runs will happen every night at about 6 p.m., with Santa riding through subdivisions on one of the fire trucks, greeting children and collecting toys families wish to donate.
The Santa Run doesn’t have a set schedule but neighborhoods can expect to get a heads up the night before.
"We usually put a sign up in front of the subdivision, letting them know we’ll be coming through the neighborhood, blowing the sirens and having them meet Santa as we collect gifts for the drive," South Division Fire Chief Mike Smith said. "It’s exciting to see the kids and how they react."
Captain Asa Clay, who’s in charge of the drive, said rain might get the best of them Saturday night, but they’ll be in the Buckhead area Sunday, Dec. 16. He said the department really loves doing it.
"It’s something, when you go around the corner in a neighborhood and kids are jumping up and down. I’ll get off the truck and meet with the kids to talk and get pictures," he said.
While they already knew of some families they wanted to help out, such as the Collins family, Family and Children Services also designate local families that could use their help.
On Monday, Dec. 10, Chamber of Commerce Director Kittie Franklin and Chamber member Bonnie Proctor presented Assistant Chief of Emergency Services Otis Willis with a check for $200 to help the cause. The money was raised during this year’s Chili Cook-off, where Franklin won the People’s Choice and Second Place awards. Franklin said most of the ingredients she used in the chili were donated by Harvey’s.
Proctor said she’s looking forward to being with her granddaughter when the Santa Run comes to their neighborhood.
"It’s so special to have the children give to Santa, instead of him always giving to them. It teaches them what this season is all about," Proctor said.
To find out more information, call Smith at 313-5898 or Clay at 655-0464.