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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — Tech. Sgt. Jerry Wade hopes base residents make this year’s Fire Department Toy, Food and Apparel drive one for the record books.

Wade, Fire Department Station captain and drive coordinator, implemented Yokota’s program in 2001 after running a successful program at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.

“I just always like doing something for the community,” he said. “And what better time of the year to give something to someone less fortunate.”

His program has benefited several Yokota agencies including those providing food, clothing and toys to residents suffering financial hardships.

The donations also spill out into the local community: Tokyo’s homeless receive clothing and bedding, and orphanages are swamped with toys.

This year, Wade said he’ll also send boxes to Iraq.

Family Services Coordinator Barbara Lucy said Thursday she appreciates Wade’s efforts to help with donations to her agency’s Angel Tree program.

Angel Tree identifies families suffering financial hardship, large families, those with a deployed parent and single-parent families.

Base residents donate gifts to those “angels,” and the Fire Department supplements the community donations.

“They helped us out tremendously last year,” she said. “I actually went to them twice for donations. This is a very good thing.”

The Fire Department has placed donation boxes outside the main store in the Yokota Community Center, Four Seasons, in the commissary and at all the fire stations. It’ll take new items and serviceable used items until Dec. 17.

On Saturday and Dec. 13, from 1 a.m. to early afternoon, the department will also bring a truck to the community center and personnel with accept donations.

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