Members of the Marysville firefighters union collected food and monetary donations outside of the Marysville Safeway again this year as part of their annual food drive.
This year’s drive was held from Nov. 27 to Nov. 30.
“For four days we stand outside of a local grocery store, we use Safeway every year, and we take food donations and give them to the Marysville Community Food Bank,” said Marysville Fire District Captain Cody Brooke, president of IAFF Local 3219 (the local firefighter’s union).
“It’s a tradition that we’ve always done and we strive to continue that,” said Marysville firefighter Luis Cruz.
Firefighters come out with Santa to greet families and collect donations for the food bank.
Brooke said that the drive is one of the biggest holiday drives for the Marysville Community Food Bank. This year they’ve been collecting about $1,000 each night of the drive, he said.
Local Tammi Porter donated some food on Nov. 29 and said she wanted to help her community.
“I just wanted to give back. It’s a good cause and I just want more people to give,” she said.
Union members said they wanted to give their time to help the community.
“It’s an honor to be out here and give back to the community. They do so much for us and we get to see them only on emergencies, so it’s awesome to see them donate and be part of the community,” said Brooke.
“I like just being able to talk to people and letting them know we don’t just help people, but we help the community off-duty as well by giving back,” said Cruz.
The food drive also allows firefighters a chance to meet their community.
“Usually when you go on scene you don’t really have time to communicate beyond what’s going on immediately,” said Cruz.
“We always help the community in emergency situations and its nice to come out and help in a non-emergency way,” he said.
Santa and firefighters also give out candy canes to adults and children as they’re entering the Safeway.
“I love seeing the little kids with Santa, seeing their faces light up as they approach the grocery store and realizing there’s Santa all of a sudden,” said Brooke.
They also have their boots out to collect cash donations, and Brooke said he enjoys “just seeing people give so generously. We get lots of $20s and a few $100s that get dropped in our boots,” he said.