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Fire Department organizes Christmas for Kids

by Susan Holland | November 9, 2021 at 5:00 a.m.

GRAVETTE -- Every holiday season for the last several years, the Gravette Fire Department has collected toys and clothing to distribute at Christmastime to local families who need extra support during the holidays. After seeing a need in the community, Chief David Orr and Captain Jared Weston of the Gravette Fire Department expanded the Christmas for Kids program in order to serve more families in the Gravette Fire District.

Through the holiday season, the Gravette Fire Department will be collecting new, unwrapped toys and clothing items as part of the Christmas for Kids collection and distribution. There is a collection box at Dollar General in Gravette and items are also being accepted at the Gravette Fire Station and Gravette City Hall. Monetary donations are also accepted and appreciated. All items are distributed to local families in the Gravette Fire District, which includes the Gravette city limits and unincorporated areas of Benton County.

The department was inspired to start the program after seeing its positive impact on children and families in rural fire districts in southwest Missouri. Captain Jared Weston of the Gravette Fire Department has a personal connection to the program after seeing his father, Grady Weston, support the program in Newton County as chief of the Newton County Rescue and Recovery. Captain Weston assisted with the Newton County program for several years before Christmas for Kids in Gravette.

"One of his greatest wishes was to see no child go without on Christmas and, so, we hope to expand on his and many others' hard work and to bring joy to many kids here in Gravette," said Captain Weston.

Applications for assistance are available on the city of Gravette website at www.GravetteAR.com under the Events tab and are due by Dec. 1. Applications are evaluated by a review committee and then forwarded to the fire department to compile an assortment of gifts. Selected recipients will receive the gifts prior to Christmas. Christmas for Kids is open to families with kids of all ages who live in the Gravette Fire District.

"Our hope is that every kid can have a great Christmas," said Chief Orr.

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