“A helicopter and a garbage truck are to .. um.. to .. um .. to the girls and the boys who are don’t have more toys,” Zacharie sputtered in a video I made in the winter of 2010. Ever since, we have donated toys at Christmas to the Calgary Firefighters’ Toy Association.
For 5 years the boys have picked out something they really want for Christmas, and then handed it over to someone in need. It’s our little way of teaching them about charity, and this year it took a bigger step – the boys used their own money.
When we opened bank accounts for them last month, they were allowed to keep $50 each to go shopping. The deal was they had to spend $20 of it on a toy for someone else.
The boys then walked the aisles at Target and learned about budgeting, costs, charity, and the value of a dollar.
Charlie picked out a LEGO Ninjago set to give, Zacharie one from LEGO Chima. Yesterday afternoon we visited Calgary Firehall 33 and dropped off the toys.
I can’t say enough about the personality of firefighters. They were playing a game of basketball in the garage, and as we poked our heads in an open door, they immediately stopped and came over the greet the boys. They graciously accepted their offerings, listened patiently to their stuttered and stumbling stories, and then invited them to climb all over the fire truck.
The Calgary Firefighters’ Toy Association has been hosting a party for kids since the 1940s. Current and retired firefighters raise nearly $50 000 each year to put on the party, and the toys that are handed out are collected at each station. Want to help? It’s simple. Just visit your local firehall with a new, unwrapped toy to get passed along. The party is in early December, so mid-late November is a great time to drop it off.