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Shopping Spree To Help Hospitalized Children

December 23, 2013, 5:53 PM by Shawn Neisteadt

Shopping Spree To Help Hospitalized Children
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

You expect firefighters to respond to difficult situations, but this call requires a shopping list instead of a hose.

Some Sioux Falls firefighters and their families are shopping for children who will be hospitalized over the holidays.

"The hospital really isn't a place where anybody wants to be at any time, but this time of year seems to have a little more sting because you're just in a bad place and looking forward to something happier than where they are," Dan Schneider with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue said.

This is the 12th year Schneider has taken part in this holiday tradition. Much like their professional work, he says the firefighters get better at this with more experience.

"As the years have progressed, we've kind of evolved and learned how to handle the situation," Schneider said.  

The money for the gifts comes from the local firefighters' union. They'll spend $3,000 on this shopping spree.

"A big chunk of money, that buys a lot of stuff, a lot of smiles, so we're pretty happy when we can do that," Schneider said.

The group admits that buying for younger children is easier than teenagers, but they're doing their best. And when given a choice in certain aisles, these firefighters will always choose red before black and white.

"We favor the fire trucks because we don't want any police cars out there," Schneider said, laughing.

It's that laughter and light-hearted spirit the firefighters hope they can bring to the children when the toys are delivered.

The firefighters will deliver the toys to Avera, Sanford and the Children's Care Hospital and School starting Tuesday morning.

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