This year the Monterey County Regional Fire District Firefighters have once again conducted their annual Holiday Toy Drive benefitting children and families served by Kinship Center.  This wonderful effort began in 2004 spear headed by Justin Reyes, Kinship Center Leadership Board member and Firefighting Engineer and Paramedic with the Monterey County Regional Fire District. 

 

Toy collection started the day after Thanksgiving and culminated in a fire safety themed holiday party on December 19th.  The Ed Institute at the Kinship Center River Rd building was filled with children who eagerly watched as one of the blue uniformed firefighters demonstrated the transformation into a yellow clad firefighter as he suited up with all his firefighting equipment.

 

Then the crowd was treated to humorous fire safety skit complete with sound effects, music, humor and memorable characters such as Gus, the oldest firefighter alive and General Knowledge.  Hands shot up into the air as kids volunteered to model “stop, drop and roll” and crawl on their hands and knees to show the safe way to escape a burning home. 

 

Afterwards each child had the chance to see Santa and his elves.  Adults stood by and took photos as each received an age appropriate gift, a stuffed animal and goody bag.  From young children to teens everyone who attended was able to receive a special gift, fire safety tips and make a wonderful memory to take with them. 

 

Kinship Center wishes to express our deepest gratitude to all the various community groups and individuals who have coordinated toy drives, donated items and or time as you have all helped make this a special holiday for children and families in great need.  We would also like to thank the Monterey County Regional Fire District Firefighters, Fire Chief Michael Urquides, Firefighter Justin Reyes, and everyone who contributed to this annual toy drive as you have touched the lives of numerous children throughout all these years.  You are all the hearts behind the mission!

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