Fiddlers ReStrung and the Saline Area Fire Department (SAFD) have joined forces to benefit Toys for Tots.
“It is a great partnership,” said SAFD Chief Craig Hoeft said.
SAFD is currently collecting gift and cash donations for the Toys for Tots Foundation at the 205 E. Michigan Avenue location. Fiddlers ReStrung will help the department collect toys by hosting a Holiday Hometown Concert called Fiddle Beat in the Ellen Ewing Performing Arts Center at Saline High School on Dec. 2 at 2:00 p.m., 1300 Campus Parkway in Saline.
Fiddlers ReStrung, a group featuring 22 musicians from Saline High School (SHS) is asking concert patrons to bring an unwrapped gift to the show. Students in the 6th, 7th and 8th grade Fiddlers Club as well as SHS Drum Line and Varsity Blues will also be performing in the concert.
Fiddlers ReStrung joined the SAFD's Toys for Tots campaign five years ago during the 1st Annual Holiday Hometown Concert. Hoeft said the SAFD’s partnership with Fiddlers ReStrung started because the group performed at the department every year after the holiday parade.
“I knew a couple of the kids in the group at the time and asked them if they would be willing to be help with the Toys for Tots campaign,” he said. “We thought it would help collect toys.”
Collect toys they did. Hoeft estimates that about 300-400 toys are collected during the Holiday Hometown Concert. The amount of families in need of assistance has grown over the years. “When we first started donating, the list of kids in need was about 20, and now it’s over 100,” said Hoeft.
Each year Saline Area Social Services (SASS) provides a list of kids needing toys based on their sex and age. Hoeft said the department starts collecting toys beginning near Thanksgiving. After collecting all the toys, a group of volunteers sort the gifts, wrap them and load them into a fire truck for delivery to SASS on Dec.16th
“The families know we are coming the day we deliver gifts to SASS, and sometimes they are waiting for us in the parking lot,” Hoeft said.
He added that and that kids in Saline count on the toys at Christmastime, and any toys collected at the SAFD and Hometown Holiday Concert will go to kids in Saline first. If there any toys left over, they are sent to children in Washtenaw County.
Toys for Tots is an organization that collects and distributes gifts near Christmastime to less fortunate families.
“The last thing we want is for a child to go without a Christmas gift,” said Hoeft. “We have made it our mission, and they count on us for gifts.”
Tickets for the event can be purchased in advance by visiting www.fiddlersrestrung.com Adults are $10 and seniors and students are $5.