But the possibility of decreased assistance pushed the department’s firefighters to hit the pavement to ask for more donations for the organizations and make phone calls to major corporations, such as Target, Technicolor and Yahoo, for help.
“We are working harder to get donations,” he said.
The department gives toys to the two organizations every year because, Freeborn said, they reach out and provide aid to most low-income or homeless Burbank residents.
“The agencies that we have in our city are really good,” he said. “They serve different types of people.”
Pat Smola, the Family Service Agency’s office administrator, expects toy donations from the firefighters to keep pouring in until Sunday.
“We make sure it gets to the right person,” she said.
The firefighters’ toy deliveries filled up the agency’s Santa’s Room three times, Smola said.
The room, which stays open a week after Christmas, was designed to resemble a toy store, allowing low-income families to rummage through toys and select the ones that they like the most. Each child gets about four to five gifts, she said.
“We try to help families out so that there isn’t so much stress for them,” Smola said.
After families pick out their toys, she said, if they need food, they can select groceries from the agency’s food donation room.
“It’s sort of sad sometimes when someone is trying to show that they really don’t need help, and then they break down and cry,” Smola said.
Families who receive services at the agency have requested more help in recent months, she said.
“The need is there,” Smola said.
The agency provides education and counseling services to families of violence.
Firefighters also supplied the Burbank Temporary Aid Center with truckloads of hundreds of toys, center Executive Director Barbara Howell said.
The Fire Department not only helps the center during Christmas, but also provides aid throughout the year, she said.
“Year-round, they support us,” Howell said.