RICHARDSON – Richardson firefighters made a special delivery to the Network of Community Ministries to help with the organization’s Toyland Express Program which runs Nov. 13-Dec. 17.

The donated items included unwrapped toys and canned/shelf stable food that were collected as part of the Richardson Fire Department’s Annual Toy and Food Drive.

Collection boxes were set up at all Richardson Fire Stations, the Richardson Service Center, the Richardson Public Library and Richardson City Hall.

“I am very grateful to see how the community has pitched in and helped out this year, especially with COVID. They did a real great job. We are grateful and proud to partner with Network,” said Wesley Caskey, Richardson Fire Marshal.

Toyland Express is a holiday assistance program with the goal of helping low-income families provide toys for their children during the holiday season. Eligible parents or guardians schedule an appointment and go through a quick eligibility screening process. Once approved, each family is allotted a certain number of “Santa Bucks” depending on their family size.

Parents/Guardians use their “Santa Bucks” to shop for toys in Network’s Toyland Express toy warehouse. The warehouse is filled with new toys for various ages and preferences. Volunteer “elves” help guide parents during their visit. Depending on the needs and desires of their child, families may use their “Santa Bucks” for several smaller toys, one large toy, or any combination of the two.

Once the toys are selected, each item is wrapped (per the parent’s request) and sent home to be put under the tree.

Visit www.thenetwork.org for more information.