Firefighters Collect Toys for Children in the Hospital

WEST HAZLETON -- A little chilly weather didn't stop firefighters in Luzerne County from getting into the Christmas spirit.

Members of the West Hazleton Fire Department stood outside in the cold to collect Christmas toys on Sunday.

It's part of the sixth annual Audrianna's Wish Toy and Blanket Drive.

Audrianna Bartol from Hazleton died in 2013 after suffering from a rare form of cancer. Her Christmas wish one year was to give gifts to all of her friends who were also in the hospital.

"It's important to make sure that all the families at the hospital, all the young kids there, nobody goes without Santa Claus. It's very hard on families who have sick children who are at the hospital all the time," said Angela Bartol, Audrianna's mother.

Audrianna's family, along with the fire department, has kept that tradition going.

In addition to new and unwrapped toys, firefighters are also collecting games, blankets, and crafts. Toiletries and gift cards are also being collected for the parents of children in the hospital.

The toys will be delivered to the children at Janet Weis Children’s Hospital near Danville on December 15. They will also be treated to a ham and turkey dinner.

Anyone who missed Sunday’s event can drop off items at Berger Family Dealerships on Route 93 in West Hazleton; Bonanza Steakhouse on Route 93 in Hazle Township; and at the Laurels Senior Living Community, Faith Drive, off the Airport Beltway in Hazle Township.

The collection will continue until December 14.

For more information on how you can donate, you can visit this Facebook page.