Firefighter Tyler Griffith sits in the driver’s seat wearing a Santa cap. Local firefighters will be decorating a fire engine this year as they drive around gathering donations and meeting with residents. Photo courtesy of the city of Bothell

Firefighter Tyler Griffith sits in the driver’s seat wearing a Santa cap. Local firefighters will be decorating a fire engine this year as they drive around gathering donations and meeting with residents. Photo courtesy of the city of Bothell

Local firefighters bring Santa to Bothell

Local IAFF members will tour around Bothell this December, collecting donations for Hopelink.

Santa Clause is coming to town with help from Bothell firefighters this year as local IAFF members prepare for their inaugural food and toy drive.

Currently, about nine local firefighters are decorating their truck with holiday lights in preparation for the three-week charity drive. The firefighters will spend their free time during three days over three weekends from 5-6 p.m. on Dec. 8, 14 and 21, driving through the Maywood Hills area, the Frank Love area and the Canyon Creek area, respectively.

“I worked at another fire department where we did it and it was such a great tradition I wanted to bring it here to Bothell,” firefighter Tyler Griffith said. “It is so great that we can get out and show that we’re here for the community.”

Santa will join the firefighters to collect food and toy donations to benefit Hopelink, a local nonprofit and food bank, while also interacting with the community. They plan to talk with locals and let kids tour the decked-out fire engine.

“I was driving around and trying to pick the [neighborhoods] close to school because a lot of kids walk to school so I know we’re going to be able to get a lot of interaction,” Griffith said. “That’s what’s really important, to get out there and let the kids see Santa and see our decorated fire engine.”

Griffith added they’ll be broadcasting holiday music over their PA in the style of an ice-cream truck.

The firefighters ask locals to donate non-perishable food items and new, unwrapped toys that will go to families in need.

Hopelink has locations in Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Shoreline and Carnation. The organization serves in King and Snohomish counties with an effort to provide stability and help people gain the skills and knowledge they need to exit poverty for good.

Bothell firefighters’ donations will go toward helping these families and giving local children an extra gift for the holidays.

“They serve Kirkland and Bothell and I thought it’d be great to give back to the community we serve,” Griffith said.

This is the first year Bothell firefighters are participating in a Santa food and toy drive. Griffith has been with the department for about two years and is the lead organizer of the effort. He said he received vast support from his fellow firefighters and officials when he pitched the idea.

“I got so much support, everyone was really excited,” Griffith said. “I haven’t seen this much excitement [here]…I know everyone at Bothell [Fire Department] is very supportive and very excited for this to be going on this year. It’s going to be really great.”

Redmond firefighters have a well-established food and toy drive, which will run for 16 days throughout the city. Griffith hopes to grow Bothell’s drive to that level with multiple fire engines next year, more days and more locations.

Griffith added he’s most excited about the community engagement as it’s a really important way for firefighters to serve their community in their free time.

“The Bothell Fire Department stands behind its citizens and the community,” he said. “We’re very proud to be firefighters for Bothell and couldn’t be more excited to be doing these things for the community because they deserve the best and that’s what we’re going to deliver.”

More in Life

IHS Ted Christensen reconnects with old students at his surprise retirement celebration on June 9. Madison Miller / staff photo
Inglemoor music teacher honored for 38 years of teaching

Ted Christensen received a surprise retirement party to celebrate his almost four decades of teaching.

Animal services conducting outreach in Kenmore

License fees directly support RASKC’s mission to help animals in the local area.

St. Edward environmental center could become a reality this fall

The center could be run by the state and the UW Bothell and offer science education and research.

Northshore Students Shine in State Photography Contest

Inglemoor placed first as a team overall and Bothell tied for seventh.

The Kenmore Quickies will be from July 26-28. Courtesy photo
As If Theatre Company announces first-ever short play festival

The Kenmore Quickies will be from July 26-28.

UW Bothell’s Atkinson to be next Pub Talk speaker

She will discuss how environmental crises can leave people experiencing grief, anxiety and hopelessness.

Jones to keynote NSD Digging Deep event on equity and diversity on June 1

The event will be from noon to 3 p.m. at North Creek High School.

Courtesy photo
                                Northshore Schools Foundation to hold second annual All In for Kids Family Fun Day at Pop Keeney Stadium.
Northshore School Foundation to host second annual Family Fun Day

The All In for Kids Family Fun Day will be June 8.

Artwork by Yiming Megan Song of Bear Creek Elementary. Courtesy photo
Northshore students recognized by PTA Reflections Art Program

10 NSD students were recipients of this year’s WSPTA Reflections awards.

Inglemoor students to compete at Euro Challenge

Five IHS sophomores advanced to the semi-final round of the Euro Challenge competition in New York.

Seattle council member Harrell named UW Bothell commencement speaker

Harrell is a UW political science and law school graduate and former Husky football player.

Kenmore seeks census volunteers

Volunteers will be working from May to March 2020.