The San Francisco Firefighters Toy Program Is On For 2003
By: Melissa Lerma

We are back for the Christmas Season 2003, our 54th year. Our Christmas wish has come true and we will again be able to reach out to the disadvantaged children of San Francisco. This comes at a cost to the Toy Program, but we are confident with hard work and lots of volunteers, that we can raise the funds to get through the Toy Season. So let’s get started!

The plan for 2003 stays the course as years past. Businesses are calling interested in how they can help out. Toy request applications will be in firehouses November 1. Events requiring volunteers including holiday parties and Santa’s Workshop on Wheels are already being scheduled.

What can you do? A lot! Now through Christmas day, we can put you to work. This includes warehouse work, delivering barrels, collecting toys, stocking shelves, sorting toys, Santa’ Workshop on Wheels, attending events in uniform … and much more.

All these aspects of the Toy Program require volunteer involvement. That includes our retired firefighters and their families but most importantly we need off-duty active firefighters. We need firefighters to jump in and try to find some spare time to help out. We all benefit from the praise of helping out on a local level. We have an opportunity to share a little Christmas cheer with families that will be experiencing financial hardships during Christmas, especially this year. We are so blessed to have the security of our jobs, let’s go above and beyond the call of duty and show our compassion to those less fortunate.

If you regularly volunteer, bring a new volunteer from the firehouse. Show them around and let them see how easy it is to just show up and get working. If you are a new firefighter, show your support and lend a hand. You will meet some great retired guys to work side by side with and at the same time, help out with the work that needs to get done. (And speaking of retired guys – all you that have recently retired, you said you’d come down, you promised…we’ll be looking for you!)

This program depends on volunteers; without volunteers it doesn’t work. No matter how many toys and donations we receive, we need volunteers to come down and help. We start at 8:00 a.m., so it’s easy to just put in a few hours when you get off work in the morning. We stay open until 4:00 p.m., so if an afternoon is easier, we can use you then. Please don’t leave this work to just a few. If every firefighter would put in a day, the job can get done so much smoother.

The Toy Program will have the annual Volunteer Kick-Off Lunch November 19th at noon. Everyone interested is welcome. Station 11 has again offered to cook up their great Cioppino. Please come down and see who and what the Toy Program is about. Also, we are taking calls for cooking dates so please call as soon as possible. Thanks to all the houses for this support.

The Toy Program is always looking to explore prospects for additional toy and monetary donations. One of the simplest yet rewarding ways for businesses to donate is for guests attending their Christmas parties to bring a toy for the Toy Program. We have received such good feedback because it makes their guests feel good to have shared a gift for a child and also the ease of donating. If you have an opportunity, please suggest this to a spouse or friend whose business, company or office is holding a Christmas party. They can call the Toy Program and we can provide information and make arrangements for pick-ups.

Please call Melissa at 777-0040 if you would like further information. Look for updated information through e-mails via the firehouses. You can e-mail the Toy Program at


Main Menu