Sioux Falls Fire Rescue picking up toys for kids spending Christmas in the hospital

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sioux Falls Fire Rescue is giving Santa a helping hand this year. Firefighters are searching for dozens of toys at Lewis in Sioux Falls. The toys will be going to sick kids in local hospitals on Christmas Eve.

Leaving no aisle untouched and no cart unfilled, firefighters and their little elves are loading up at Lewis to brighten the holidays for sick children in Sioux Falls.

“It’s Christmas and you always want to bring a little Christmas joy to kids that are in the hospital and not feeling so good,” Stratmeyer said.

Paul Stratmeyer with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue says six firefighters and some families are spending their time checking off kids on several lists.

Six-year-old Bella Brunette is more than happy to chip in.

Bella: Getting this friend.

Holsen: What is that?

Bella: A unicorn!

Bella takes her job as an elf seriously but with a big smile. She too has a family member in the hospital right now.

Bella: Even my cousin. He’s a tiny, tiny baby.

Holsen: He’s in the hospital?

Bella: Yeah because he can’t breathe good.

Not only is she picking out special gifts, Bella is going to help wrap them as well. If you can’t tell, Christmas is her favorite holiday.

“Because I get presents and it’s Jesus birthday,” Bella said.

“We just make it a big family affair and have fun,” Stratmeyer said.

Stratmeyer says they’ll find presents for more than 100 kids. He and his fellow firefighters have been doing this every year for 30 years.

“That’s just what firefighters do, we give back to the community. So we just keep that tradition going,” Stratmeyer said.

All of the presents will be given to kids at local hospitals tomorrow. Money used to pay for the gifts was raised during the September Step Up For Heroes event.

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