EMS agency 'Fills the Ambulance' for foster kids
The donated toys will go to children under the care of the Caldwell County Department of Social Services
By Virginia Annable
CALDWELL COUNTY, N.C. — Saturday kicked off the first of what A.J. Musto hopes will be an annual tradition for Caldwell County Emergency Medical Services: filling an ambulance with toys for Christmas.
Families, individuals and other emergency responders in the county came to the Chick-fil-A parking lot at Smith Crossroads in Lenoir to donate toys as small as a puzzle to as big as a bicycle.
As more toys were piled in for the Stuff the Ambulance Christmas Toy Drive, Musto, an EMS sergeant, became certain this was something the department will do again. By 11 a.m., two hours into collecting toys, the ambulance was already a quarter full.
"We're extremely happy with the turnout already," he said. "And we still have the rest of the day."
The toys will go to children under the care of the Caldwell County Department of Social Services.
"I feel like we're always there in a time of need," Musto said, "so I figured we'd show that we're here other times too."
When a family of 14 showed up, Santa was there to talk to the children, ask their Christmas wishes and give them candy canes and plastic firefighter hats. David and Kristi Alward said their 12 children pooled their money to buy some gifts for children in need.
"We know how good God has been to us," Kristi Alward said, "so when we heard about this we decided to come out."
She said the family rarely does charity events like Saturday's, but when they saw a post about it on Facebook they decided to participate.
Another family donated $400 worth of toys, Musto said.
Division Chief Ed Anderson said no matter what people gave, the event was a nice reminder of the kindness of Caldwell County.
"The public is so good to us and to everyone," he said. "We're glad to try to give back."
Copyright 2017 News-Topic
Caldwell County EMS' 1st Annual "Fill the Rig" Drive
Caldwell County EMS' 1st Annual "Fill the Rig" Drive Caldwell County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) will collect toys for children with the first ever “Fill the Ambulance with Toys” event next weekend. EMS will have an ambulance with staff parked at Chick-fil-A Restaurant at Smith Crossroads, 116 Wilkesboro Blvd. SE, in Lenoir, on Saturday, December 16, 2017 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Everyone is invited to help “Fill the Ambulance” with toys by bringing by a toy for a child age toddler to pre- teens. All toys collected will be given to the Caldwell County Department of Social Services to distribute to children in need to help provide a happy Christmas for all. In addition to EMS and the ambulance, Santa Claus will be on the scene to visit with families and have photos taken with the children along with additional emergency personnel and equipment. Also, Kicks 103.3 will be broadcasting live from the event from 10 a.m.to noon. The toys collected will be taken to DSS on Monday for them to distribute to families for Christmas. For more information about the EMS “Fill the Ambulance” event, contact Trista Hodges with Caldwell County EMS at 828-757-1424.Posted by Caldwell County NC on Sunday, December 10, 2017