San Mateo firefighters collect holiday Toys for Tots

Seeing the look of joy in young children’s eyes is all Rich Seguine needs.

Seguine and fellow members of the San Mateo Firefighters’ Association are embarking on another holiday season with the Toys for Tots program, collecting and distributing gifts for underprivileged youth.

But this year is especially tough, Seguine said, because of the increasing number of parents and families in need as a result of the slow economy.

“We see the need every day,” said Seguine, who chairs the department’s Toys for Tots committee. “This economy’s really tough. There are a lot of new families asking for help.”

The need is one reason the San Mateo Fire Department is expanding its efforts to collect as many toys as it can to give to needy families. In addition to the booth firefighters and volunteers will man at Hillsdale Shopping Center this month, the department is putting together toy collection contests at city schools.

“The school that collects the most toys wins,” he said.

San Mateo Park, Sunnybrae and Highlands elementary schools are participating.

Seguine said the department has organized the Toys for Tots drive for the past 30 years. He said thousands of toys have been distributed, though he did not have an exact number.

Nancy Carothers, spokeswoman for the Samaritan House — a nonprofit serving low-income families — said thousands of the toys
collected by the Fire Department have helped dozens of families.

“They are just wonderful during the holidays,” she said.

Carothers said there has been an increase in demand of services offered by Samaritan House. The toys the Fire Department provides give children who normally wouldn’t get gifts a bright smile.

“And they usually come around the time we are running short,” Carothers said. “They make such a difference.”

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

 

Season of giving

Where to donate toys now through Dec. 23:

Hillsdale Shopping Center, 60 31st Ave., San Mateo

Any of the five fire stations in San Mateo:

Station 21, 120 S. Ellsworth Ave.

Station 23, 31 W. 27th Ave.

Station 24, 319 S. Humboldt St.

Station 25, 545 Barneson St.

Station 26, 1500 Marina Court

Station 27, 1801 De Anza Blvd.

Source: City of San Mateo

Bay Area NewsLocalneighborhoods

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

A man holds a sign at a rally to commemorate the life of George Floyd and others killed by police outside City Hall on Monday, June 1, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Chauvin verdict: SF reacts after jury finds ex-officer guilty on all charges

San Franciscans were relieved Tuesday after jurors found a former Minneapolis police… Continue reading

School Board member Faauuga Moliga, right, chats with Superintendent Vincent Matthews in between greeting students on the first day of in-person learning at Bret Harte Elementary School on Monday, April 12, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Faauuga Moliga named as school board vice president to replace Alison Collins

The San Francisco school board on Tuesday selected board member Fauuga Moliga… Continue reading

Legislation by Supervisor Rafael Mandelman would require The City to add enough new safe camping sites, such as this one at 180 Jones St. in the Tenderloin, to accomodate everyone living on the street. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City would create sites for hundreds of tents under new homeless shelter proposal

Advocates say funding better spent on permanent housing

A construction worker rides on top of materials being transported out of the Twin Peaks Tunnel as work continues at West Portal Station on Thursday, August 16, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA’s poor track record on capital projects risks losing ‘public trust’

Supervisors say cost overruns and delays could jeapordize future ballot revenue measures

Roger Marenco, president of operators union TWU Local 250-A, speaks at a news conference outside the Muni Kirkland Yard announcing Muni will not be increasing fares on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA’s union leader encourages riders to say ‘thank you’ to their Muni operators

A conversation with Roger Marenco, president of Transport Workers Union of America, Local 250A

Most Read