Safety personnel make Christmas special for Glendale families.
By Mary O’KEEFE
Members of the Glendale Fire Department will be helping out Santa this year by delivering presents and a holiday dinner to a Glendale family.
Firefighters from Glendale Station 29 were busy wrapping presents for their holiday-adopted family.
“Every section of the fire department has a family assigned to them. We give them a full Christmas dinner and gifts,” said Craig Young, station 29 engineer.
In 2000 Fire Chief Harold Scoggins started a Christmas tradition where the fire department would adopt a family in need and become their personal Santa Claus. This year nine Glendale fire stations, Verdugo Communications, Fire Prevention, Emergency Medical Services, Training, Public Education and Fire Administration sponsored 18 families including 45 children from the Glendale Headstart Program.
Station 29’s family includes four children. A large box filled with toys sat in the station’s lobby on Monday.
“I just emptied that box this morning and it is full again,” said Jason Bess, firefighter.
Bess said the community has been very generous in donating gifts for the family. Donations have been received from community members and local businesses like Montrose Shopping Park Association that donated $500 in scrip. Civilian and sworn members of the department also donated their time and money to make certain the families had a good Christmas.
“This year we have enough [funds] donated that we could buy each child a pair of shoes,” he added as he wrapped a pair of Vans tennis shoes.
Toys were donated through the Spark of Love Toy Drive. Firefighters chose toys from those donations for their chosen families.
The Glendale Fireman’s Club donated $1,800 so each family could receive a $100 Target gift card and the full turkey dinner.
Firefighters roll up to the home in the fire engine and get out with bags of toys.
“The kids are usually ecstatic when they see us. Sometimes the parents don’t tell them that we are coming so it’s a [big] surprise,” Young said.