JOPLIN, MO.--- Local firefighters hope to make Christmas a little brighter for area children. Joplin firefighters are collecting toys for kids as part of their 28th Annual Christmas for Kids Program, they're asking the community for help. They're encouraging people to buy something extra when they're out Black Friday shopping next week.
"Seems like everyone kind of goes crazy on Black Fridays. So if they're out there and they're shopping, they may find a better deal than we do and they can pick up an extra toy," said Shannon Branham, Christmas for Kids Director and Joplin Firefighter.
The "Christmas for Kids" storage unit may look like it has plenty of toys for the Christmas season, but with a goal of giving presents to more than a thousand children, firefighters are asking the community to add to the collection.
"Basically, we need more presents for the kids. This year is going to be a hard hit year. The economy is not doing real well right now," said Branham.
Organizers say the holidays are a time to pay it forward.
"Just that one toy gives them a warm heart that they're helping someone out and it also helps us," said Branham.
Those good deeds always seem to come back around.
"You never know when it's going to be you that needs the help. So, if you can spare a little bit and help someone else out, it is awesome," said Branham.
Organizers say every little bit helps.
"The kids like the new things. Basically, we'll take anything we can get for the kids. Anything from board games to clothes to toys. We'll take anything we can get for the kids," said Branham.
The firefighters hope this will help make Christmas a little merrier for kids in the area.
"If they don't get something for Christmas that they can go back to school and these other kids got stuff, it'll be nice if we can give them something and they can go and share with their friends that they got something nice for Christmas," said Branham.
Firefighters are asking for donations for any kids up to 15 years of age. Toys will be collected at KSN/KODE news station, Zimmer Radio Station and any of the Joplin fire stations. Monetary gifts are also an option, and those will be accepted at the fire stations. All gifts will go to kids in Joplin and bordering towns.
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