Posted at: 12/08/2012 9:44 PM
Updated at: 12/08/2012 10:37 PM
By: Brittany Lewis
(ABC 6 News) -- Volunteer firefighters and first responders from all over Dodge County spent their day collecting toys for Toys for Tots.
They were at local businesses and fire stations collecting both toys and cash donations.
The sirens were not from fire trucks, but from toys. The mission of the firefighters and first responders was not a live saving one, but a toy collecting one.
"Usually the only time they see us is when they're having a really bad day and we'd like to show em that we're here for 'em anytime,” said Lee Peterson, Fire Chief of Claremont Fire Department.
Some wore gear, some wore festive hats, all donated their time to provide kids in Dodge County with toys.
"Anytime that you can get anything for the kids that are in need or unfortunate,” said Michael Allen, a firefighter in Mantorville.
All six of the volunteer fire departments in Dodge County participated. Some started as early as 6:00 a.m. Keeping warm into the cold of the night with gloves, cups of hot chocolate and the thought of helping make a kids Christmas better.
"It's wonderful that we can all come together and just uplift their spirits and sometimes in a tough time,” said Allen.
"It's a really good feeling,” added Peterson.
The items included Candyland, a doll, and cash donations.
"Seeing the joy on their faces even if it's just a small toy,” said Peterson.
With all the cash collected and a donation of their own, the Mantorville Fire Department expects to give close to $900 to Toys for Tots from Saturday’s event.
"It means everything, means absolutely everything. It's a wonderful feeling, um to be out there and know that um where it's going and that hopefully you just made some body a better day and a happier morning,” said Allen.
A happier morning for kids who will open these presents on Christmas morning.
The firefighters thank everyone who donated. Next Sunday all the departments will be in Rochester to drop off their toys and purchase some more.