Fire stations throughout Jackson Township are turning into Santa’s workshop as firefighters gear up for their annual Firefighters for Kids toy drive now through the week before Christmas.
Local 2672 is collecting new toys and accepting monetary donations for newborns to high schoolers and taking applications at Station 202 for families wanting to participate in the program. Donations can be dropped off at any township firehouse – 4343 Grove City Road, 3650 Hoover Road, or 2650 London-Groveport Road.
According to Fire Chief Lloyd Sheets, families not receiving holiday assistance from other programs must provide verification of their address within the Jackson Township, Grove City, or Urbancrest area in order to receive help from the department, which provides five to seven toys per child.
"We provide toys for about 350 children each year," said Sheets, "and we can help any business, organization, or individual that would like to hold a drive for toys. They just need to let us know by calling 875-5588."
Township trustees got into the act of giving by making their annual resolution of support for the Firefighters for Kids toy drive by donating up to $3,000 in matching funds.
Chairman David Burris said, in the Nov. 13 trustee’s meeting, the appropriation helps defray costs involved in purchasing toys for needy children.
"The Jackson Township Board of Trustees believes the program, which promotes community values, improves the lives of those in need, and extends the service efforts of the fire department, is a worthwhile endeavor benefiting our Jackson Township community," said Burris as he read the resolution.
Sheets said toys not distributed during the holidays are boxed up and cataloged for later use.
"If there is a fire and kids lose their toys, we bring them new ones from the toy drive," reported the chief. "It’s a neat program that actually lasts all year."
During the meeting, the trustees also approved a resolution appropriating $10,000 for operation of the E.L. Evans Senior Center van. Senior citizens in Jackson Township and Grove City are transported to appointments, grocery shopping, and day trips providing low-cost travel options. The center offers a variety of specialized transportation services between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and on the weekends as needed.
Dr. Robert Lowe, EMS medical director at Doctors Hospital and medical director for Pleasant, Prairie, and Franklin Townships, was appointed as medical director for emergency medical services for Jackson Township following trustee action.
"It was determined to be in the best interest of the Jackson Township Fire Department to have an additional qualified and experienced physician to advise and oversee its emergency medical training procedures," said Burris.
"Dr. Greg Wise, who previously served in this capacity, will still be available to assist as needed and will now serve as senior medical advisor. Dr. Robert Lowe has volunteered to donate his time and talents in such a capacity."