, Newburyport, MA

November 15, 2012

Firefighters launch 'Stuff the Bus' for needy kids

By Angeljean Chiaramida STAFF WRITER
Newburyport Daily News

---- — SEABROOK — Every year with enthusiasm, Seabrook firefighters take on the huge job of ensuring that all Seabrook children have presents under their Christmas tree, and this year is no different.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday, Nov. 24, and again on Saturday, Dec. 15, local firefighters will be launching their “Stuff the Bus,” events in the parking lot of Seabrook’s Walmart. It’s the major event of the Seabrook Firefighters Toy Drive.

Although donations of cash are always nice, said firefighter and paramedic Marc Bibaud, the chairman of this year’s toy drive, the goal of the events is to fill the buses with new, unwrapped toys local kids have specifically requested.

“Inside Walmart there will be a Christmas tree with tags on it that have the names of gifts the kids have asked for,” Bibaud said. “If at the end of those events all the tags on the trees are gone and gifts purchased, then every child will get what he or she wants for Christmas.”

Last year, about 240 children between the ages of infancy and 14 years of age in about 100 local families received gifts from the toy drive, Bibaud said, and this year firefighters will work with Seabrook’s school officials at the elementary and middle school to identify children in need.

Applications will be sent home by the school, he said, and the firefighters will take it from there. For non-school age children in income-qualified local families, applications will also be available at the Seabrook fire station, he said, and proof of Seabrook residency will be requested for verification. Deadline for application to the program is Dec. 10.

For those who aren’t able to make the two “Stuff the Bus” events, Bibaud said cash donations and gift certificates are welcome and can be dropped off at the fire station, located on Centennial Street. All gifts should be in the hands of firefighters no later than Dec. 20.

For more information, contact Bibaud at 603-474-2611.