Live Oak —
Live Oak Fire Department Safety and Training Officer Alan Bedenbaugh and the LOFD will be having their annual drive for Toys for Sparky’s Kida, a program that is designed to provide children in Suwannee County with toys for Christmas. The program kicked off today and will end on Dec. 18 when all bags of toys have been handed out.
“I’m really excited about this year and I know the people of Suwannee County are too,” Bedenbaugh said. “Last year, we gave away 474 bags of toys to needy children. We don’t want to see any kid go without on Christmas.”
Unlike most programs that offer their services to multiple counties, or are either state or nationwide, Toys for Sparky’s Kids benefits only Suwannee County children ages 0-12. Parents can now begin submitting their child’s name at LOFD. The only requirement is that the person signing up must provide identification to show their residence is in Suwannee County.
“We had people back in June and July come up to us and ask if we were going to do the program this year, so we look to help more people than we did last year,” Bedenbaugh said. “We love our kids and so we put our heart into it. We want to see each kid get at least five new toys for Christmas.”
To help the LOFD reach their goal, drop boxes will be placed at different locations in the county, including at the Suwannee Democrat at 211 East Howard St. “We encourage everyone to buy a gift and drop in these boxes,” Bedenbaugh said. Bedenbaugh ensures that the boxes will be checked daily and the items placed in them will be gathered for the bags. Individuals are also encouraged to drop toys by the fire department at 200 Duval St. NE.
The LOFD will be sponsoring a car show during Christmas on the Square where toys can be donated, and although there are no prizes to win, bragging rights are on the line. “We want people to come show off their cars and have a good time while helping our children at the same time,” Bedenbaugh stated. Admission into the car show is a $10 toy that will be given to the children.
Bedenbaugh said, “We want everyone to come out and support this event and help our children to have a good and cheerful Christmas.” For more information, contact the LOFD at 386-362-1313.