East Texans Give to Needy Children

Firefighters are fighting for the kids of East Texas this Christmas who might not have toys under the tree. 

  Senior Captian James Pike of Station 2 says, "I know there's a lot of kids out there that don't have the opportunity to get very many toys for Christmas. It helps us be the middle man in gathering those toys in."

Bikes, bears and baby dolls, the Tyler Fire Department is collecting toys for boys and girls in their 20th annual Christmas toy drive. East Texans are opening their hearts and pocketbooks to give to needy children.  Kim Costanza who donated toys Sunday says, "We wanted to incorporate giving to the needy during the holiday season as part of our tradition."

   They're bringing in toys of all shapes and sizes as well as 20, 50 and one hundred dollar bills. Some East Texans are making it a family affair.

   Bill Costanza who donated toys to the Salvation Army says, "We brought the kids and got them involved. With the added benefit of seeing the fire trucks and everything else was incentive for them to come as well."
   The toys dropped off at the Tyler fire stations will help with the hundreds of angel tree gifts not already picked up at Tyler's Broadway Square Mall. They will also go to kids who did not originally sign up for the angel tree.

  Terry Hawkins with Station 7 said, "We are very appreciative of all the people who have brought by toys and hope they will continue to bring by toys cause it will help a lot of kids make their Christmas."

   And with Christmas just 10 days away, the generosity of East Texans is sure to brighten the smiles of kids across Tyler and Smith County.

You have until December 18th to drop of a toy at any Tyler fire department.

   Marie Biggs, reporting.