Tiffin firefighters to collect toys

Tiffin Firefighters Local 322 soon is to begin accepting applications for the annual toy project. The project, which provides toys for needy children younger than 10 who live in the city of Tiffin, is being headed up by Rob Chappell, president of Tiffin Firefighters Local 322.

Chappell said the applications are to be accepted Nov. 25-Dec. 6, and firefighters are to go out and purchase toys after the selection process is completed. Toys will be purchased based on the ages of the children selected. Firefighters receieve donations for the project from businesses and citizens, and those are used toward the purchase of toys.

“There are people who will drop off toys at the fire station,” Chappell said. “And some drop off money.”

Chappell said firefighters typically receive around 300 applications each year, but one year during a tough recession, 400 applications were submitted.

Chappell said the project has grown through the years. In its beginning, firefighters would repair durable toys that were dropped off at the station and then give them back to children.

“From there, it evolved into us getting newer toys and delivering them to houses,” he said. “Now we have a nice breakfast and have families come in.”

At the breakfast, a firefighter dresses up as Santa and hands out the wrapped toys.

Chappell said this year, the breakfast is set to take place Dec 14. at Somerset Reception Center.

“Like all our different fundraisers, it’s nice to be able to give back to the community we serve,” he said. “Not just when you call 911, but for these types of situations as well. Anything you can do to help out those less fortunate, especially kids at Christmas time.”

Chappell said applications for families who want to participate in the project can be picked up at the No. 1 fire station, 53 S. Monroe St.

For more information about the project, contact the Tiffin Fire Department at (419) 448-5445.