139
Piedmont Fire Chief Andy Logan gets some organizational help from Rylie Owens with toys for Sparky’s Donation Station. Piedmont police officers, firefighers and veterans are helping the city’s less fortunate families with Christmas gifts. (Photo by Mindy Ragan Wood)

By Mindy Ragan Wood, Staff Writer – Needy children in Piedmont will have a brighter Christmas thanks to Sparky’s Donation Station.

The toy drive is a concerted effort between the Piedmont fire and police departments and the Piedmont Area Veterans Association.

Fire Chief Andy Logan said his department has always supported the Santa’s Toy Shoppe, a non-profit organization based in Yukon that serves eastern Canadian County. Last year, toy drive organizers decided to focus exclusively on the needs in Piedmont.

“It was a huge success,” Logan said of Sparky’s Donation Station’s first year. “We do have some local needs and it’s surprising to some people. Anyone can fall on hard times. With a fire, an illness, lack of work, with the volatility of the oilfield. We love partnering with other groups to bring some joy into their lives,” Logan said.

Schools and churches make referrals to Sparky’s Donation Station. Thirty-eight children in 11 families will be served by the donations, but their identity is kept private.

“None of us know who we’re helping. If we get info about a family, all we know is the number of kids. We know someone out there has a need,” Logan said.

All toys are dropped off at the fire and police departments and the veterans center. The gifts are grouped together for each family and given to the schools for distribution. The distribution day is December 15, so all donations need to be turned in unwrapped by December 14.

“We are accepting donations of any kind,” Logan said. “It will all go to a good home. Any extras will be given to the Santa’s Toy Shoppe.”

PAVA board member Leon Meyer said they were happy to help.

“We’re here to help the community and people within the community. If there are families in need, we want to be part of meeting those needs,” he said.
Police Chief Scott Singer could not be reached for comment at press time.