For close to 20 years the Cranford Fire Department has had a hand in providing Christmas toys to underprivileged children with the help of the Marine Corps' Toys for Tots program. Or at least that as far back as Lt. Frank Genova can remember.
The Cranford native searched a section of fire headquarters recently to find something that hinted at how long the department has been involved. The earliest mention he found was on a congratulatory plaque from the Marines that said 1998. But the plaques weren't always given out, according to some firefighters.
Whether it was 20 years ago, or 10 years ago, the firefighters volunteer their time to catalog, collect and deliver the pounds of toys that make their way to the station. The Cranford Firemen's Mutual Benevolent Assoc. Local #37/#237 joins the Cranford Post Office to collect this year's toy haul.
The Toys for Tots Drive, according to a press release from the fire department, "has been bringing joy to millions of children during the holiday season for over 50 years."
Unwrapped children's toy are being accepted through Dec. 20 at the Fire Department's Springfield Avenue location.
For questions about the Toys for Tots Drive in Cranford call Dead Russamano at 908-709-7360.