by:Craig McDonald, Newark Advocate Published 9:39 a.m. ET Dec. 3, 2018
The West Licking Firefighters Local 3025’s 18th annual toy drive is currently underway.
This year, firefighters are adopting 140 children across 59 families via the Salvation Army for Christmas assistance, Nick Rhodes, West Licking Fire District firefighter/paramedic, said in a Nov. 29 interview.
“It’s just awesome to be a part of,” Rhodes said, adding, “We’re fortunate enough that the Pataskala Lion’s Club has partnered with us, and will provide each family with a Christmas meal, too.”
West Licking Firefighters are currently accepting donations of new, unwrapped toys at its five stations between now and Dec. 21.
Rhodes said the Salvation Army provides a wish-list from each child and firefighters then work to try and see that at least one or two items from each list is fulfilled.
Parents then have an opportunity to shop in a makeshift store set up within the YMCA in Pataskala where a firefighter helps them “shop” for another five gifts.
Some of the popular items being sought this year include: bicycles, GameStop gift cards, Legos, remote control cars (“We’ve seen a lot of those asked for,” Rhodes commented), Hot Wheels cars and tracks, action figures, PAW Patrol items, makeup sets, and dolls and accessories.
Although new, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at all times at all five stations within the fire district, two special public toy drives are also planned from 9 a.m. to noon on Dec. 8 and 15, at Station 1, located at 851 East Broad Street.
Santa is scheduled to be present at those two public toy drives.
The other fire stations collecting toys through Dec. 21 include:
West Licking Fire Station 2, 7072 National Road SW, Pataskala
West Licking Fire Station 3, 7125 Mink Street SW, Pataskala
West Licking Fire Station 4, Unit B, 7821 Taylor Road SW, Pataskala
West Licking Station 405: 13112 Morse Road, Pataskala