Toys for Tots season kicks off

Photo by Andrew Banas

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Rows and rows of emergency vehicles raced through Saratoga County today.

It wasn’t for the reason you might think. They were raising awareness and collecting toys for local children in need.

Over thirty different fire departments from all across our region lined up Sunday, not to put out fires, but to help spread holiday cheer to those in our region who need it the most.

“It makes me feel good. It makes me feel like what I do every day is worth it,” Clifton Park firefighter Ryan Peruzzi said.

“It’s awesome to be able to do this and smile,” Burnt Hills firefighter Miranda Koster said.

It’s called the Toys for Tots Convoy, now in its third year.

Fire departments around the region take part in collecting toys that are delivered to children in need.

“We do a lot of stuff within the community. We are a very community based organization,” Union firefighter Josh Otten said.

The firefighters headed out from Ballston Spa High School and made their way to SPAC in Saratoga dropping off thousands of toys.

“Our goal is to fill as many boxes as we can and then make a lot of noise in the convoy,” Otten said.

For the people who help us at our worst, today offers a different opportunity, delivering boxes of toys and truckloads of smiles.

“There’s a lot of less fortunate kids that are out there and we are just doing our part to help make their holiday that much more special.”

Miranda Koster is a fourth-generation firefighter with Burnt Hills Fire Department.

Taking part in the convoy is a no brainer for her and her family.

“Kids that are less fortunate than anybody else, need us the most,” Koster said. “You never know when they are going to call you and it’s always nice to put a smile on their face.

For those who organize the event like Saratoga Sheriff Michael Zurlo and event coordinator Patrick Lorenz, it’s truly a beautiful site.

“Makes me feel real good. We have fire, we have EMS, we have two trucks, we have all kinds of vehicles here,” Zurlo said.

“This is our hometown, we both are from here, so there’s very little that’s important to us than helping at home,” Lorenz said.

Hundreds of boxes filled with thousands of toys will be sent to children all across the Capital Region to make sure they have a happy holiday season.

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