Twinsburg families get a delivery of Christmas cheer
TWINSBURG – Despite the pandemic, Twinsburg’s safety forces were able to deliver a bit of Christmas magic to area families.
On Christmas Day, members of Twinsburg’s police and fire departments delivered presents to three local families, said Steve Bosso, assistant chief and CIO for the fire department.
“This is the third part of the joint Santa drive-in and food/toy donation event put on by Twinsburg Fire, Twinsburg Police and Twinsburg Rotary,” Bosso said.
The city’s safety forces, along with several other entities including The Rotary Club of Twinsburg, the city of Twinsburg, Twinsburg Police Association, Twinsburg Firefighters Local 3630, Twinsburg Rotary-Interact Club, Visual Marketing Systems, Gionino’s, Sassy’s, and K & M International-Wild Republic, also hosted a drive-in event Dec. 13. Families were able to sign up for a reservation to drive through Fire Station No. 2, to pick up gifts. Food donations also were collected at the event. Food donated was given to Our Community Hunger Center in Twinsburg, and proceeds from online and cash donations were given to OCHC and the Twinsburg Police Association’s Shop with a Cop program.
The pandemic caused many area police departments to cancel or alter their plans for Shop with a Cop.
Dan Fidoe of the Twinsburg Police Department said many people, businesses and organizations contributed.
“This was an improvised event, and we were fortunate that several businesses stepped up to the plate to ensure that several families would be blessed with gifts this year,” Fidoe said. “Twinsburg Giant Eagle, Twinsburg GetGo, Twinsburg Dollar General, Switch Cars, and UH Hospitals Pam Hobart helped make the event possible with the help of Twinsburg Fire and Twinsburg Police Day Shift making the deliveries.”
Fidoe said he and his wife Pam “wrapped a couple hundred gifts” at the police department three days before Christmas. Taylor Scheurger also helped with wrapping gifts and delivery, he added.
“We filled 55 gallon black trash bags with gifts,” Fidoe said. “Each child had a huge bag of gifts delivered to them. Pam Hobart also put together huge stockings filled with all the fun stuff kids like to get in a stocking. Pam is an expert at making the day more exciting for these kids with extras she puts together on her own. We are lucky to have her help each year. There were some older children that we did not have gifts for. We were able to use $500 from last year’s Shop With A Cop carryover, and Switch Cars in Twinsburg donated $250.” Fidoe added that Hobart was able to purchase clothes and entertainment items for the older children.
The children of the families were not the only ones to get gifts, Fidoe said.
“Chief [Chris] Noga's executive secretary Angel Keefe offered to put together a laundry basket full of gifts for the parents,” Fidoe said. “Angel put together three large baskets overflowing with items to help out the parents. It was a great gesture from her family.”
Shannon Collins, clerk of Council, and Twinsburg resident Katie Shobert also contributed to the laundry baskets, Fidoe said.
In addition, Twinsburg GetGo provided gifts cards and a ham to each family, Fidoe said. Twinsburg Dollar General which is ran by Louise Rist, wife of Bill Rist who owns D/L towing “donated a lot of toys,” as did Giant Eagle in Twinsburg. Every child, save an infant, received a basketball, soccer ball, and football.
Because of the pandemic, contact with the families “was very limited,” Fidoe said.
“The bags were dropped off at the front porch of each house and short wave was given,” he said. “I can only imagine the smiles at those houses when the gifts were being pulled out of those bags. While we wish we could have done more, we were happy to be able to help out these 10 kids this Christmas. And we look forward to SWAC in 2021.”
Reporter April Helms can be reached at email@example.com