As good ol’ St. Nick stood outside the KBEC station, waving to everyone who drove down Ferris Avenue on Saturday afternoon, the Waxahachie Fire Department was right behind him welcoming everyone to its annual Toys for Kids drive.

Receiving a large amount of donations from the people in the community, the purpose of the drive was to collect as many toys as possible for less fortunate children in Ellis County.

WFD Lt. Jon Wilson has led the drive for eight years, but decided to pass the torch to WFD engineer and EMT Brent Fuller who said the effort is something he definitely enjoys.

“I thought it was something worthy of doing because I have two little girls myself and I thought about not being able to buy gifts for them for Christmas,” Fuller said, adding he would want someone to help him.

Fuller credited Wilson for his long years of dedication toward a heartfelt cause.

“I want to thank Lt. Wilson for his guidance and also for helping me figure out how to organize this drive and for the eight years of countless hours he’s put in,” Fuller said.

Adding to the many toy and monetary donations, the department conducted its “Fill the Boot” fundraiser as a way of helping with toy shortages.

“With the two days we did ‘Fill the Boot,’ we raised $34 shy of $7,000,” Fuller said, noting the monies raised will be used toward purchasing toys and Christmas dinners for those families listed on the Salvation Army list.

The cost will be split between the department and the Salvation Army.

“This is the first time we’ve done ‘Fill the Boot’ and used money toward Christmas dinners for less fortunate families and we will definitely do it again next year,” Fuller said.

Toys that were received will be sacked this week and distributed to families beginning at 8:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 21, at the Salvation Army, along with Christmas dinners.

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