What is Firehouse Santa?
For those of you who are new to the area or unfamiliar with our Firehouse Santa event, here’s what it’s all about… It is a time-honored tradition for many towns across the country to have Santa ride around the local community to wave to the children and give out candy canes before the Christmas holiday. But 21 years ago, the Chief of Woodland Beach VFD turned it into something more after helping Annapolis City with their toy drive.
We now have four routes throughout various neighborhoods in Edgewater where Santa will not only visit with children, take photos and hand out candy canes but he collects new toys that wind up in the homes of families that need a little extra help. (These toys should be NEW, wrapped and labeled with the age and gender that the toy is intended for.)
Each route has many stops where Santa will spend just a few minutes before moving on to the next stop. Each stop has an estimated time of arrival and we try to keep Santa on time but sometimes Santa gets a few minutes behind when he has a lot of visitors. (Those stop locations and times will be posted here and on our website as the time gets closer.) Each Santa is accompanied by some of his elves to help collect the gifts as he passes through. These gifts are then picked up from our firehouse by the Anne Arundel County Food Bank to be distributed within our county. We also graciously accept winter coats and non-perishable/canned food items for donation as well.
In addition to those donations, since 2014 we have also partnered with The Blue Ribbon Project to help with their Backpacks of Love Program. This is a wonderful and much needed non-profit organization that lends assistance to children in foster care and victims of child abuse. If you’re interested in helping with a backpack donation, visit https://blueribbonproject.org/how-to-help/build-a-backpack-of-love.html to learn what items are needed. We will be collecting these items on our Santa routes as well.
Stay tuned for updates as they become available! As always, thank you so much for supporting the Woodland Beach Volunteer Fire Department!
Laura Gray, Public Information Officer, WBVFD