"Food, toy drive off to great start"

"With more people than ever attending this year's community Christmas tree lighting and food and toy drive, organizers are claiming success.Needy families will benefit from the Saturday event that netted hundreds of pounds of food and toys for the poor.We were overwhelmed by how many people came, said Kevin Crossen of the Federal Way Firefighters Foundation, an organization that helps the poor. A lot of people showed up and showed their support, it was great.Organizers estimate the crowd ran upward of 400. Only about 50 people attended last year. The event was held at SeaTac Mall. Firefighters expect to help about 110 needy families this year. About the same numbers were served last year with the food and toys donated at locations throughout the city. More food is expected to come in from the Leadership class at Federal Way High School. Each year the class organizes a massive canned food and dry goods effort that results in an average of four to five pickup trucks full of food. That food will go toward helping the 110 families this year. Residents can help by bringing donations of non-perishable food, new, unwrapped toys or money to any Federal Way fire station until Dec. 15. In addition, both Federal Way branches of Sterling Savings Bank, St. Francis Hospital and North Coast Electric are collection sites. The deliveries will begin Dec. 20. Items for babies, older youths - age 9 and up - and teen-agers are especially needed, according to the fire department. Checks can be made out to Community Food and Toy Drive. Money donated is used to purchase turkeys and other perishable items, like cheese and juice, to supplement the groceries for each family. Where to donateDonations for the Federal Way Firefighters Foundation food and toy drive can be brought to several locations.Federal Way fire stations are: Station 61 3203 S. 360th St. Station 62 31617 First Ave. S. (Headquarters) Station 63 33414 21st Ave. S. Station 64 3700 S. 320th St. Station 65 4966 S. 298th St. Station 66 27010 15th Ave. S. Sterling Savings Bank locations are: 1700 S. 320th Street - near Billy McHale's restaurant 33525 Pacific Highway S. For more information on how businesses, individuals or organizations can get involved with this year's drive, contact Kevin Crossen at the Federal Way Firefighters Foundation at (206) 977-4078. "

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