For most of us, Christmas is a time to count our blessings and to enjoy our family, friends, and good fortune. Yet for some, Christmas is an empty time of year, lacking these joys, these blessings of good fortune. Our society has been unable to remedy or prevent poverty in our communities. Charity, on the other hand, has always offered us a means to alleviate the destructive effects of poverty and provide small blessings, bits of good fortune to those facing it. For over 85 years, the Niagara Falls Firefighters Christmas Toy Fund has worked diligently to channel donations from this community to alleviate, for those most vulnerable, the effects of poverty, for a while, each Holiday Season.
Each year, thanks to generous donors from throughout the area, the Firefighters Toy Fund delivers Christmas toys to over 1000 children. Each year, our Holiday Dinner Party provides a delicious meal and holiday themed entertainment for hundreds of residents of nursing homes and adult care facilities in our community. Each year, our activities ensure that new winter clothing is provided to between 400 and 500 children in need who would otherwise go without.
The firefighters and officers of the NFFD, their spouses, families and friends spend thousands of volunteer hours each year raising funds and planning, packaging, and delivering special Christmas gifts and cheer to the needy and elderly in our community. However, none of this is possible without the generous support of the citizens and business owners of our area. The goods, services and support we receive each year from the good people of Niagara Falls and surrounding communities are crucial to our efforts.
The NF Firefighters Christmas Toy Fund is an ideal destination for you charitable dollars. We are a 501c3 charity, so all donations are tax deductible, and we have no paid staff. Professional firefighters, retirees and family members staff every facet of our charity in their off-work hours, so nearly 100% of your donation goes directly to the purchase of new winter clothes and Christmas gifts for impoverished children, and to provide the festive Holiday Dinner for local senior citizens.
Please tune-in to our annual telethon on the (Time Warner) OSC Channel-21.4 on the first Saturday of December between 10 am and 10 pm, and consider helping by phoning in a donation or by participating in our live/phone auction. Better yet, stop by Niagara Falls High School (4455 Porter Road, Niagara Falls, NY), where we will be broadcasting the telethon live, and contribute in person. We will be holding a Chinese auction the day of the telethon, at the high school, of over one hundred items/baskets provided generously by local businesses and Toy Fund Supporters.
There are various other ways to lend your support to our charity. As always, donations sent directly to us (P.O. Box 271, Niagara Falls, NY. 14304) are greatly appreciated. Also, look to purchase our “firefighter and child” logos in local businesses throughout the months of November and December. This is an easy and fast way to help our cause while patronizing businesses that support charitable giving. Look for and support the various fundraisers to benefit the Toy Fund and other charities that will be hosted by local organizations during the holidays and throughout the year. (such as the boot brigades we hold each fall/winter and the Annual Disco Night fundraiser we hold each year). This year, we are planning a Boot Drive in July. Please look for us out on the street to collect your donations and consider helping the Toy Fund this summer. We will be holding our third annual 5K/10k run in October (please look for information about the 5k/10k Run on the “Race Management Solutions” web site. You will know our fundraisers by the prominently displayed “firefighter and child” logos that adorn them. We appreciate and welcome fund raising activities/opportunities created and/or accessed by local civic groups and other organizations. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or wish to donate.
2016 Toy Fund Chairman