BEND, OR -- Bend Fire's Santa Express will visit neighborhoods starting Monday, collecting donations for the Salvation Army.
Deputy Fire Marshall Dan Derlacki says Bend Fire and Rescue personnel are excited to team up with Santa again this year after a pandemic pause, “We’re asking for new toys, clothing of all types, and then any food to fill out food baskets for the holiday meals. But also, just food baskets in general to give to people and help them out in these holiday times and then throughout the year.”
The Salvation Army would like to express the need for gifts to be given to teenage age kids as well.
“The fun part is we get to go with Santa and we get to come out to those neighborhoods. We make a ton of noise, run through with Santa and say hi. And you can donate your items right to us right there. If we don’t make it through your neighborhood, you can come to any one of our fire stations. We have bins out front to collect it,” Derlacki says they are excited this Bend tradition has returned, “This is the best part of the year. We get to go and talk to the community, and see the kids, and bring Santa with us. So, we’re super happy to be back. Weather looks like it’s mostly going to cooperate with us so we’re not going to be super cold. It’s a great way to celebrate the holiday and have fun out in the neighborhood.”
Bend Fire Stations, The Salvation Army, and local businesses will have donation bins set up through December 16th.
There a list of the neighborhoods with maps for the nightly walks on the Bend Fire Website.