Earlier this month, Bebe Fiore Decrescenzo of Bartlett Tree Experts’ Human Resources Department was joined by 10 firefighters from the Stamford, CT Fire Department at a local Walmart store to purchase gifts for children in need.
This year marks the 44th anniversary of Bebe’s annual holiday toy donation on behalf of Bartlett Tree Experts. As in years past, more than 20 shopping carts full of toys were purchased with donations from Bartlett employees, Robert A. Bartlett Jr., Chairman and CEO of Bartlett Tree Experts, and the Company.
Decrescenzo, who joined Bartlett Tree Experts at the Company’s headquarters in Stamford in 1978, launched the toy drive the following year. She said, “This is just something we can do to give back and help children and families who would not have any gifts to open on Christmas.”
Of the more than $14,000 collected, donations were also used to purchase gift bags for seniors and others in need in the Stamford area. The group gathered at the Walmart on Main Avenue in Norwalk, CT; some arriving in two fire trucks. The volunteers perused the aisles of the toy section and filled shopping carts for children ranging in age from newborns to teens from a list provided by Stamford social services organizations. The gifts purchased included puzzles, games, scooters, talking dolls, clothes, coats, and sports equipment.
For the past several years, Bartlett Tree Experts has partnered its toy drive with the Stamford Professional Fire Fighters Association (SPFFA), which also collects toys from firefighters and other local organizations. Stamford firefighter Brian Slattery, one of the organizers, said the next step is to gather volunteers to wrap the presents. The toys and gifts will then be distributed to the social-service organizations that expressed a need. Organizations that will receive the toys include Franklin Street Shelter, Stamford Department of Social Services, and others.
Slattery said, “The goal here is simple. We want to make sure that all children can have the best Christmas possible. We appreciate Bebe and Bartlett Tree Experts for their generosity in making this possible.”