Joplin Firefighters Christmas for kids campaign overcomes challenging year

Community gives generously after donor can't give
Joplin Firefighters Christmas for kids campaign overcomes challenging year

The Joplin Firefighters Union is collecting toys and donations for its annual toy drive.

But, this year has presented a new challenge, as a prominent donor wasn’t able to give to the cause.

Bernard Mbui helps fill boxes with toys, games and stuffed animals for more than fifteen hundred kids.. all for the Joplin Area Firefighters Christmas for kids campaign.

Mbui:”It’s a good feeling to get out and help out where we can.”

The toy drive provides a box of toys to kids in and around Joplin who otherwise might not get anything for Christmas.

Mbui:”I’ve been teaching my kids how to give to the less fortunate, so this is a really big part of my life, giving back to the community that I serve.”

Unfortunately, this year has been more challenging.. because a donor who usually gives ten-thousand dollars to the campaign couldn’t.

Jeremie Humphrey, Pres., Joplin Firefighters Union:”To tell you the truth, I was really wondering if we were going to be able to do what we’ve done in the past.”

That’s where the community’s generosity has come into play.

Humphrey: “We’ve still been able to help just as many kids this year as we have in years before.. from the support of the community.”

Humphrey says while it may look like they have plenty of toys right now, it’s really not that much, after you consider the sheer number of kids they end up helping.

Humphrey:”It goes all year round.. for if there’s a house fire and people have lost everything, we go in and we take the kids some toys, ya know through the year.. so to the average person, if they were to look at the toys that we have in our storage unit, they’d think wow they have enough to give to every kid, but it’s really not that much.”

All the toys they have right now will be gone after Christmas, leaving very little for kids that may lose everything. Meaning they still need the generosity of the community.

Mbui:”Teamwork makes the dream work. so, if the community is helping us, and everybody’s on board, we’d like to see this tradition go on for years, even generations to come.”

The department is accepting donations for the toy drive until the 24th.

Pickup day for people that will receive toys is on Tuesday, the 18th from 10 am to 4 pm at Memorial Hall.

For more information, follow this link.