For some kids, it’s the drivers of big red firetrucks who ensure there are smiles on their faces.
For nearly four decades, the Corner Brook Fire Department has organized its annual toy drive for needy children.
Last year, they and the Salvation Army helped a total of 456 families in the Corner Brook and Bay of Islands area. The fire department handles around 90 per cent of the workload, said veteran firefighter Gord Hamlyn
The number of families the drive expects to help this year, said Hamlyn, looks like it will be up from a year ago.
He believes there are many new families in the area and that is contributing to the rise in numbers.
“Contrary to what many people might think, it’s not just people who are on social assistance who need our help,” said Hamlyn. “There are a lot of working families who are having difficulty making ends meet, so it’s nice to be able to help them have that little extra something at Christmas.”
The toy drive had been concerned about having enough toys for older kids between the ages of seven and 12. Donations to fill that gap have flowed in during the past few days and he is sure the needs of all on their special list will be meet.
“We only have a few families left to do in the next couple of days, so I think we’ll pull it off,” he said.