Fire department toy drive reaches its conclusion — distribution
BULLHEAD CITY — Fire Station 1, at the corner of Hancock and Trane roads, served as a distribution center for toys this weekend.
Since 1983, the Bullhead City Fire Department’s annual Holiday Toy Program has been ensuring that up to 1,000 underprivileged children have presents to open on Christmas Day.
Toys not only go to families living in Bullhead City but also to those in need in the Fort Mohave area, Laughlin and even Searchlight.
Volunteers operate a drive-through for families in need to pick up toys.
Among the volunteers were members of the Flummer family — Meagan and children Joshua, 10, and Emily, 7.
Meagan’s husband is BCFD Battalion Chief Justin Flummer, who is highly involved in the program but was working on Sunday.
“We’ve been doing this since right after our son was born,” said Meagan Flummer.
She also pointed out that while most of the volunteers only become active for a month or so before each Christmas, BCFD Engineer Jeff Jackson is the program coordinator who works on it throughout the year.
The initial rush of families occurred Saturday when the drive-through began operating. There were a large number of volunteers needed to give families their gifts and keep them moving in and out smoothly.
On Sunday, Joshua and Emily carried out bags of toys in exchange for paperwork filled out earlier by each family. The Salvation Army refers families to the program, which automatically helps the ones with incomes below poverty level.
But Meagan also said the children were a big help when it came to making gift choices.
They know what toy an adult is trying to describe but can’t name.
And “they know what kids like,” Meagan said.
That’s important when loading bags for the families and trying to group together presents that will be enjoyed for a long time.
By Sunday there were lulls in drive-ups. Meagan and the other grown-up volunteer there at that moment, Chuck Moore, a member of the fire board, were looking at the many bags of toys prepared for families and doing inventory of what was remaining.
“This is a fantastic project,” Moore said.
He also noted that Mike Flummer, Justin’s father, played a large role in getting the department’s toy program established.