Fire District No. 3 Toy Drive gives kids a merry Christmas

Dec 14, 2017

It's going to be a very merry Christmas for hundreds of local children thanks to the efforts of Dartmouth Fire District No. 3, which recently held its 9th annual Toy Drive.

All of the toys were donated to families in need at The Schwartz Center at Meeting Street, which serves area children with disabilities from infancy all the way through high school. Its mission is twofold: instill independence and help every student excel at their highest possible level. However, Beatriz Oliveira, Major and Planned Gifts Officer at the Schwartz Center at Meeting Street, shared that many families face financial stress and there is no room in the budget for Christmas presents. That’s where the Toy Drive comes in.

“We received almost twice as many toys as last year," said District No. 3 Chief Richard Arruda. "People came in droves and made return trips to drop off toys.”

Captain Corey Pimental added, “Little kids would come in. Families would drop off toys. People would even come at midnight. We’d hear the door open and close, look up, and there would be a bag of toys.”

And as part of the Toy Drive tradition, two Schwartz Center students, 4-year-old classmates Brayden and Evan, got to take a field trip to the fire station and to enjoy a personal tour of the station, check out the flashing lights, and even sit at the wheel of the truck.

“The Dartmouth District 3 firefighters and staff go above and beyond for our families each year and we can’t thank them enough," John M. Kelly, President of Meeting Street, said. "Thanks to their efforts, each Schwartz student has a gift to open. This year, they outdid themselves. In addition to toys, they also purchased winter clothing and other items for 22 of our families that are struggling.  We can’t thank them enough, their generosity is truly inspiring."