OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — The Oshkosh Fire Department has kicked off its 23rd Annual Food and Toy Drive, continuing through Dec. 14 in neighborhoods throughout Oshkosh.
Traveling with Santa on an antique fire engine, the department is working to spread holiday cheer while collecting donations to ensure that all families have a happy holidays.
"This is my first time doing it so I’m really looking forward to driving down the road with Santa in the firetrucks seeing all the kids and just see how happy they are to see Santa," said Oshkosh Firefighter/Paramedic Hunter Resop.
The department is accepting non-perishable food items, new/unwrapped gifts, wrapping paper/tape and cash donations. All donations will be given to the Salvation Army and distributed through their distribution program. Monetary donations (and checks) will be given to the Oshkosh Firefighters Charitable Trust and be used to fund the Gary Kassube scholarship, given to two graduating Oshkosh seniors enrolled in a police or fire science program.
"We are looking for new, unopened toys, and non-perishable food items, and we also accept gift cards for those teenagers because we can't forget about them and what they like, and we also have scholarships to local high school students that are going into the fire/police career, so we are also raising money to give out scholarships every year as well," Resop said.
Donations can also be dropped off at any of the six Oshkosh fire stations between now and December 12th.
The schedule is 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. as follows:
Tuesday, November 30th - Station 14 (south side of the city)
Wednesday, December 1st - Station 15 (central city)
Thursday, December 9th - Station 16 (west side of the city)
Monday, December 13th - Station 18 (northeast side of the city)
Tuesday, December 14th - Station 17/19 (northwest side of the city)
All routes begin between 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @OshkoshFoodToy for further updates throughout the drive.
Last year, more than 700 families and 2,000 children were enrolled in the Salvation Army's program. Despite the pandemic, the fire department collected more than 4,800 pounds of food, 2,600 toys, and nearly $2,000.