On Dec. 22, the Grass Valley Career Firefighters Association, with the help of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Coalition, sponsored a Santa Claus toy drive for some special families in need.
With some private donations from individual firefighters and a contribution from the association, a load of toys and a Christmas ham were purchased for two special families in need. Local merchant Foothill Mercantile was a huge help in the toy drive, as it donated staff time to help wrap the gifts and helped a “purchasing elf” select toys for a total of four children. Foothill Mercantile also donated a generous 10 percent off the entire purchase, resulting in more toys for the kids. The ham and a few other incidental items were also purchased locally by the official fire department shopper.
Santa arrived at the Grass Valley Fire Department Station 2 at 8 a.m. sharp to pick up the gifts and deliver them with a full fire department escort. The crew was happy to assist Santa and were soon rewarded with huge smiles and hugs. Bringing happiness to children this time of year is what it is all about, and being able to directly do that for the fire department’s neighbors was a special added bonus for the firefighters.
After the deliveries were made, Santa and his Fire Department escort made a few rounds to a couple of nearby neighborhood apartment complexes (West and East Berryhill and Glenbrook apartments off Sutton Way). They were able to hand out candy canes and toys to some very excited kids who did not expect such a visitor so early this year. The rain kept many in, but Santa braved the elements until all of the toys he had in his bag were gone. For those who did not get to see him, not to worry because Santa assured them there were many more gifts to come Christmas Eve when he made his big rounds all over the world.
Around 11 a.m., Santa and his escort arrived back at Station 2 to warm up and get dry before he had to head back to the North Pole. But before he left, he was able to take a few Christmas wishes from some children and their families who stopped by to say hello to him.
At noon, Santa departed the station with a hearty “Ho ho ho!” and his promise to return to Grass Valley in just a couple more nights.