Letters to the Editor

Annual Community Food and Toy Drive: Thank you | Federal Way letters

The annual Community Food and Toy Drive for Des Moines and Federal Way was an outstanding success thanks to the overwhelming generosity of the citizens of Des Moines, Federal Way and unincorporated South King County.

The annual drive delivered food and toys to 125 families and approximately 479 children on Tuesday, Dec. 22. Each family received toys for the children, food for a holiday dinner, and nearly a week’s worth of groceries. The families sponsored by the food and toy drive are recommended for assistance by local elementary schools.

The food and toy drive committee is comprised of more than just the local fire department. Past sponsors and volunteers include many local service clubs such as the Federal Way Noon Lions and Kiwanis Clubs, the Greater Federal Way Kiwanis, Federal Way Rotary Club, Gai’s Bakery, Federal Way elementary and high schools, Highline elementary schools, Twin Cedars Mobile Home Park, South King Fire and Rescue Firefighters Foundation, Des Moines Lions and Rotary Clubs, Des Moines Masons, Scoreboard Pub, Summit Trading, Wal-Mart, Baden Sports, and the exceptional generosity of the citizens of Des Moines, Federal Way and unincorporated South King County. Each year they commit time, money, food, gifts, energy or other resources to the annual drive. In addition, there are many unnamed individuals who donate their time, food, gifts and money to this worthy program.

With the current economic conditions, we were unsure about how much the community would be able to help. However, much to our surprise, there was an overwhelming response from our community. Donated food and toys filled the truck bay and class room at Station 26 in Des Moines — this was truly inspiring!

Again this year the drive sponsored a friendly food donation competition among the local high schools. Decatur, Federal Way, Thomas Jefferson and Todd Beamer high schools all participated and were responsible for much of the food received. We hope to make it a yearly tradition. The winner receives a plaque commemorating their auspicious win and $500 from the South King Fire and Rescue Firefighters Foundation that will go toward the cost of a school dance. The presentation of the award will take place in January 2010.

All donations received by the food and toy drive went to the community. What was not given to the sponsored families was donated to the Federal Way Food Bank, the Des Moines Food Bank, the Federal Way Multi-Service Center, the Des Moines Pregnancy Assistance Program, several local churches, Burien Fire Department Christmas Outreach Program, Gig Harbor Fire Department and some additional families who were recommended to the program.

The Annual Community Food and Toy Drive started in the 1960s with Fire Chief Bill Smith of then King County Fire District #22 (Steele Lake area) and local community service clubs. When the program first started, they were able to help about 25 families. Since that time, thanks to the continuing assistance and generosity of local service clubs, private businesses, neighborhood groups and the community members, the program has grown. Thanks to the community’s continuing support and inspiring generosity, we were able to help the more families this year than ever before.

Captain Kevin Crossen,

South King Fire and Rescue,

Community Food and Toy Drive Coordinator

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