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The Franklin Fire Department collected enough toys and clothes for 200 children in Franklin and Fairview as part of the 14th annual toy and clothing drive.

Gift requests were located on holiday fire hydrant displays across the city and collected through Dec. 5. On Wednesday night, FFD firefighters and other community members gathered to wrap the gifts that included coats, shoes and toys.

According to FFD Public Information Officer Jamie Melton, some of the gifts were not just for children to receive, but a way for children to give and share in the giving spirit. Melton herself wrapped a gift from a 7-year-old boy whose gift request simply read, "Ring For Mom."

According to Franklin Fire Captain Clay Mackey, the annual drive saw a slight decrease in individual donations, believed to be due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which has caused both public health and economic strains.

Mackey said that local businesses stepped up to make the drive a success, with about 20% of the items, or about $6,000, was made up by those business donations.

“If there are excess items, we help other families we’ve been made aware of," Mackey said. “After we’ve met needs here, we’ll send leftover items to Kentucky to assist in recovery efforts. We could not do any of this without the tremendous support of our amazing, generous community. We are beyond grateful.”