Community members are encouraged to donate to the Redwood City Fire Department backpack drive that helps local youth in need be prepared for school.
“Bags and supplies will be distributed to children and teens struggling due to fire, illness, financial stress or other difficulties,” city officials said.
New backpacks (none that are solid red or solid blue) and school supplies can be dropped off in barrels at any Redwood City or San Carlos fire station. See a list of Redwood City fire stations here.
The drive is part of the Create-A-Smile program, which was launched by the Redwood City Firefighters Association in the early 1990s. It followed a horrific crime in 1993 in which a 4-year-old girl was kidnapped, raped, beaten, and thrown from a car in the parking lot of a storage facility on Hansen Street in Redwood City. The incident weighed heavily on firefighters, who felt the normal course of providing assistance to victims wasn’t enough.
“We decided to bring the victim a huge basket of toys to somehow start the healing process for the family,” Fire Capt. Meisenbach recalled.
That inspired the Create-A-Smile program supporting low-income victims of tragedy, violence and misfortune. Funds raised by the program have gone to surgeries for children with cleft palette, to providing bone marrow for children and adults, toward after-school activities, sports equipment for Sequoia High, funding horseback riding for disabled children and assisting families who have lost a spouse in public service.
Tax deductible donations can be made to: Create-A-Smile Foundation c/o Redwood City Fire Department, 755 Marshall Street, Redwood City, CA 94063.