SEABROOK — This year, as they have for decades, Seabrook firefighters are embarking on their annual toy drive to ensure all local children find longed-for gifts under their tree Christmas morning, even if their families are enduring financial stress.
Many in town have for years helped the firefighters collect or buy more than $10,000 worth of toys requested by Seabrook kids. Last year that meant 240 children received at least two gifts they specifically requested —and perhaps a few more for good measure, — according to Seabrook firefighter Marc Bibaud, the chairman of this year’s campaign.
Wal-Mart is again supporting the program by hosting two “Stuff the Bus” events in the parking lot of the Seabrook store from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8 and again on Sunday, Dec. 15. On those two days, Seabrook firefighters will be outside Wal-Mart, with a special Christmas tree that has tags carrying the name of a gift requested by a local youngster.
“People can come and take a tag from the tree, then go in and buy the gift,” Bibaud said. “When they have it, they can give the gift to a firefighter at the event who’ll put it in the bus. Or people can give us cash so we can buy the gifts. A dollar’s great; $10 is better. Towards the end of the campaign whatever gifts are missing from the kids’ wish lists, I’ll go buy with the money donated.”
There’s been some interesting gifts requested this year by local children that if received will make their holiday joyful. A 7-year-old boy wants arts and crafts supplies, a 5-year-old requested a Captain America doll, others prefer Iron Man and Spider Man characters. An 11-year old budding photographer, requested a digital camera, Bibaud said, and two boys, a 5-year-old and an 11-year-old asked for firefighter suits and equipment.