Firefighters spend $5,000 on gifts for Toys for Tots

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Instead of fighting fires, Grand Junction is fighting through the holiday shopping rush.

The Grand Junction Fire Department, the GJ Firefighter Foundation, and the Firefighter Union 2808 took over Rim Rock Walmart to buy toys for less fortunate kids.

"This is a tradition that goes back farther than the oldest firefighters and most veteran firefighters that we have in our department,” said President of the Firefighter Union 2808’s Frank Frappier.

Thursday morning, firefighters and their families traded their trucks in for shopping carts.

"I was tasked with teenage girl stuff because I have two teenage girls at home and they thought I would be a subject matter expert on it,” said firefighter and paramedic with the Grand Junction Fire Department, Mark McIntire.

They had $5,000 dollars in hand.

"It just another way that we can serve here in the community and help families locally who otherwise would not have a Christmas or you know could just use a little extra help,” said Frappier.

They had just one hour to get the job done.

"It’s wonderful to give back to the community,” said McIntire.

More than 30 firefighters and their families spent the morning buying gifts for the Toys for Tots Foundation.

"Art kits, makeup kits, we got a bunch of purses, gloves, hats,” said McIntire.

The Firefighter Union 2808, Grand Junction Firefighter Foundation, and Walmart raised over $5,000 through donations, golf tournaments and the annual Turkey Trot last month.

"When I was young we didn't have money for toys and so I know what it feels like to be in an underprivileged family and to be wanting toys and be wanting clothes and things that are necessities,” said Frappier.

Something they say is close to their hearts.

"One of my favorite things is to give my daughters a good Christmas and it’s nice to be able to give some other kids a good Christmas also,” said McIntire.

Later this month, the Firefighter Union 2808 will have a shopping day downtown to benefit local businesses and shop with a firefighter will be at the other Walmart on North Avenue in a couple weeks.

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