Only a month and a half ago, the Lexington Fraternal Order of Firefighters wasn't sure they'd even have a building to hold their toy drive in. Now they're in the distribution stage and they say they've helped a lot of people.
Toys from the Fraternal Order of Firefighters Toy Program are now being given to needy families. The donation process wrapped up December 9. Firefighters say while the public did bring in lots of toys, it wasn't quite enough to meet their record demand.
"I think it had a little bit to do with our location and people having trouble getting here, just because of no bus stop right here in the area. It wasn't real easy to find," says John Durr.
Firefighter John Durr says some folks had registered through more than one toy giveaway program, so that made them ineligible. He says a small amount had to be turned away because there simply weren't enough toys. Demand for the program has been rising for the past few years and that makes him nervous about next year.
"The numbers of new applicants this year was staggering. Usually it's about eight to ten percent. This year, it was about fifty to sixty of people who've never been in our program. It kind of scares us for next year," he says.
Durr says even though they couldn't help everyone, there were able to give toys to over 1,000 kids this year. He says seeing families benefit makes it all worth it.
"There's a lot of people who are really appreciative and that's what we're there for. It just kind of helps you get in the Christmas spirit," he says.
Officials with the Fraternal Order of Firefighters say they'll still accept toy donations at any Lexington fire station. They'll just go ahead and donate those toys to other charities.