Firefighters Collecting Toys

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Newport Beach firefighters and lifeguards are asking for new, unwrapped toys and sports equipment for Christmas – to give to underprivileged kids, that is.

The Newport Beach Fire Department is once again participating in the Spark of Love toy drive to help bring toys to children who may otherwise go without during the holiday season. The fire department will collect donated gifts until Christmas Eve. Presents may be dropped off at any local fire stations or lifeguard headquarters throughout Newport Beach.

“The Newport Beach Fire Department feels this is a very worthwhile endeavor and we are encouraging community support more than ever before,” said NBFD spokeswoman Jennifer Schulz.

The Spark of Love campaign combines efforts with the US Marine Corps Toys for Tots program, Social Services Agency’s Operation Santa Claus and the St. Vincent de Paul Holiday Charities program.

Through the combined efforts in the Spark of Love campaign, approximately 300,000 toys are collected and distributed annually to kids in Orange County.

The Spark of Love toy drive began in 1993 as a partnership between ABC7 and firefighters in five Southern California counties, including Orange.

“Although there are other worthwhile toy drives, Spark of Love is the only one created and operated by firefighters,” the Newport Beach city website states.

Toy requests and family referral sheets are available at all Orange County fire stations and at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul office in Santa Ana.

“Through the Spark of Love toy drive, the spirit of the holidays will be felt throughout the communities we live in, as well as, in the hearts of less fortunate children,” Schulz said.

Contact Schulz at 949-644-3110 for more information.

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