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Public Employee Press
By ALFREDO ALVARADO
Local 2507 member Sandra Butler, an EMT based at the Elmhurst station, had always wanted to organize a toy drive for Christmas and began collecting the gifts in October.
"I wanted to show everyone that we really care about the community. It's not just a job for us," she said.
More members joined in, and Lt. Richard Erdey of Local 3621 coordinated media outreach and helped distribute the toys. Donations came pouring in, and among the shiny race cars, fire trucks and footballs were 16 handmade blankets knitted by seniors from the nearby Raices Senior Center in Corona and the Sunnyside Senior Center.
"Everybody was a part of this. The seniors, our members, everyone pitched in for the kids," Butler said.
"I'm having as much fun as the kids," said the union leader as he passed out toys to children waiting with their parents.
"Sandra did a great job collecting all of these toys and coordinating the event," said Local 2507 President Israel Miranda, who also lent Santa a helping hand. "Our members are very special people."
Everyone at the hospital was so happy with the union toy drive that Santa and his helpers have been asked to return next Christmas. "I'm so happy they feel that way," said Butler.