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Shuswap fire departments gearing up for annual food and toy drives

Salmon Arm fire halls host Fill the Fire Truck Toy Drive on Dec. 10
Salmon Arm Silverbacks Keiran Ruscheinski and Lynden Hanvold share a picture with Tyra Menzies’ Grade 5 students from Hillcrest Elementary, who were at Salmon Arm Fire Hall #3 to drop off donations for the Fill the Fire Truck Toy Drive on Dec. 3, 2021. (File photo)

Salmon Arm firefighters are looking to the community for help bringing some holiday cheer to Shuswap families.

The fire department’s annual Fill the Fire Truck Toy Drive returns on Saturday, Dec. 10. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., people can drop off donations of new, unwrapped toys or $15 gift cards, for ages 0 to 18, at fire halls 1 through 4. Donations will be divided between the SAFE Society and the Shuswap Family Centre.

The Salmon Arm Fire Department’s first toy drive was in 2020, and since then organizer/firefighter Steve St. Denis said donations have been increasing.

“Over the couple of years that we’ve done it it has definitely increased… and with what’s going on in our world these days, there’s probably much larger demand this year,” said St. Denis.

Regarding gift cards, St. Denis explained they give teenage kids the freedom to choose something they want or need.

The fire department is also partnering with the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, setting up a truck outside the Shaw Centre on Saturday night, Dec. 10. While firefighters collect donations for the toy run outside, the Backs will be playing rivals the Vernon Vipers inside. This is also the evening the ‘Backs host their annual Teddy Bear Toss event, collecting stuffed animals and winter clothing for kids in the community.

Read more: Salmon Arm Fire Truck Toy Drive returns in December

Read more: White Lake firefighters grateful for residents’ generosity

The Silver Creek Fire Department’s 4th annual community food drive is underway and runs to Dec. 17. Cash donations are being accepted along with non-perishable goods. Donations can be dropped off at the fire hall Thursday nights from 6:30 to 9 p.m., or with Silver Creek firefighters.

On Sunday, Dec. 4, Sicamous fire trucks will be travelling around the community from noon to 3 p.m., with firefighters collecting donations of toys and food for the Eagle Valley Resource Centre.

The White Lake Fire Department holds its 15th annual Christmas Food Drive between 6 and 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Firefighters in their private trucks will be following fire trucks with sirens sounding, stopping to pick up donations at door steps or the end of driveways. Non-perishable items still in packaging are wanted, as are toys, gloves, socks and gifts for seniors. Cash and cheques made out to the Sorrento Food Bank will also be accepted. All donations will go to the Sorrento Food Bank.
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