JOPLIN, Mo. — We’ve shown you stories before involving check presentations—but this might be a first.

A gift card presentation happened this morning at Academy Sports+Outdoors in Joplin. That gift card represented a $3,000 donation from the store to the Joplin Area Firefighters Christmas For Kids Campaign. Fire department officials then hit the aisles to do some shopping.

All of these items, including the toys in the studio of our sister station KODE, will be given to area kids in need during a party on Friday, December 16th.

“You know, we’ve always been there for the community when in a time of need, and this is just something that, back in I believe 1978, the firefighters just decided to start helping some veterans that, them and their families needed some help and it just kind of blossomed into what it is today where all the area fire departments come together, have a big party, we help provide toys. The community has been so generous to provide toys and funds for this program to be successful,” said Captain Adam Grimes, JFD/JAF.

Families need to apply to receive assistance. Captain Grimes says they’ve received more applications this year than in any other year — including the year of the tornado.

The application process can be done online. You can also see where toys can be dropped off, aside from here at our station or any Joplin Fire station by following this link here.