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December 3, 2010 > Toys for kids

Toys for kids

By Simon Wong
Photo by Simon Wong

Hayward Firefighters Local 1909 raises monies throughout the year for its annual toy drive by holding fundraisers such as the Hayward Firefighters Golf Tournament and Charity Softball events. Funds are used to purchase toys. Donated items and additional funds are gratefully received.

The firefighters originally partnered with the US Marine Corp's Toys for Tots in 1980 to be able to give Hayward children gifts they would not otherwise receive. The toys collected were distributed throughout the Bay Area from Concord but, unfortunately, fewer than expected made their way back to Hayward. Hayward's finest started their own Toys for Kids program to ensure local children benefit. All purchased and donated items are distributed to local non-profit groups, such as Terra Firma and La Familia, for the families they serve.

"New and lightly-used toys are welcome. We receive a lot of soft toys and items for younger children. There's always a need for more toys for the older kids. Games, bicycles and books are good. A few years ago, someone arrived with a flatbed truck laden with 30 bicycles which he generously donated," explained Matt Buckingham who has spearheaded the annual toy drive for 11 years.

On November 30, 2010, approximately a dozen firefighters, ably assisted by 20 students from Eden Regional Occupation Program, wrapped almost 50 collection barrels at Fire Station No. 6 before delivering them to 27 Hayward-based businesses and the city's nine fire houses. This year's toy drive will last from November 30 until December 22.

Toys can be deposited in any of the collection barrels and at Hayward's nine fire stations. The morning and late afternoon are the best times to visit the fire stations. Check donations should be made payable to "Hayward Firefighters Toy Drive." Toys and checks received during the year will be set aside for special gift-giving occasions by a few non-profits, such as Tiburcio Vasquez, and distributed the following Christmas.

Businesses wishing to support the toy drive should call the Toys for Kids hotline at 1-888-416-8509 to request a collection barrel. Non-profits who wish to receive toys for their client families should call the same number.

"Hayward Firefighters Local 1909 would like to thank the community and businesses in advance for their continued support. Everyone's generosity makes a big difference to the Holidays for so many kids," Buckingham concluded.

For more information, call the Toys for Kids hotline at 1-888-416-8509.

Toy for Kids Collection Points

* Alameda County Office of Education, 313 W. Winton Ave.
* Martha G. Bronitsky Chapter 13 Standing Trustee, 24301 Southland Dr., #200
* Eden Garden Trailer Park, 1201 W. Winton Ave.
* Marelich Mechanical Co. - 24041 Amador St.
* Hayward Unified School District Corporation Yard - 2400 Amador St.
* Eden Garden Elementary School - 2184 Thayer Ave.
* Bay Valley Medical Group, 27212 Calaroga Ave.
* Bay Point Healthcare Center, 442 Sunset Blvd.
* Hayward City Hall (Permit Center, Employee Lounge, by each elevator), 777 B St.
* Buffalo Bill's Brew Pub, 1082 B St.
* Bank of the West, 1058 B St.
* Bay Cities Credit Union, 2277 Main St.
* Hayward Chamber of Commerce, 22561 Main St.
* Hayward Mediation Service, 22320 Foothill Blvd., Suite 500
* Casa Sandoval, 1200 Russell Way
* Hagan Chiropractic, 95 Jackson St. (at Soto Rd.)
* Webcor Builders, 31145 San Antonio St.
* Spectrum Label Corp, 30803 San Clemente St.
* Alcal Roofing, 31164 Huntwood Ave.
* Core-Mark Midcontinent, 31300 Medallion Dr.
* Nutek Corporation, 1005 Whipple Rd., Suite 2
* Siemens Building Technologies, 25821 Industrial Blvd.
* Shasta Beverages, 26901 Industrial Blvd.
* Thermage Inc, 25881 Industrial Blvd.
* Kaiser Medical Center, 27400 Hesperian Blvd.
* Dr Patel, D.D.S., 27206 Calaroga Ave. #216
* EKC Technology, 2520 Barrington Ct.

* Fire Station # 1 - 22700 Main St.
* Fire Station # 2 - 360 West Harder Rd.
* Fire Station # 3 - 31982 Medinah St.
* Fire Station # 4 - 27836 Loyola Ave.
* Fire Station # 5 - 28595 Hayward Blvd.
* Fire Station # 6 - 1401 West Winton Ave.
* Fire Station # 7 - 28270 Huntwood Ave.
* Fire Station # 8 - 25862 Five Canyons Pkwy.
* Fire Station # 9 - 24912 Second St.

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