With only a few short weeks left until Christmas, the excitement of the season is evident all around Northern Arizona. I always love seeing the beautiful decorations and, of course, how the snowfall just changes our landscape to a winter wonderland. As an APS employee, we are especially encouraged during the holiday season to give back to our community and hope you will join us in a wonderful opportunity to make a difference.
As a decades-old holiday tradition, the Northern Arizona Law Enforcement Toy Drive is an incredible event that we are happy to support this year. The toy drive is a partnership among several local law enforcement agencies including the Flagstaff Police Department, Winslow Police Department, Williams Police Department, Sedona Police Department and the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office. The goal is to help those in need by collecting toys for children whose families may not have enough to purchase presents this season.
In 2017, toy drive volunteers delivered gifts to 674 children throughout Northern Arizona. This year, organizers have set a goal to reach 800 children and with your support, we’re anxious to see them surpass the goal.
Law enforcement agencies from around our region refer families to the program year-round; and in December, officers volunteer their time to collect toys outside of department stores. In addition to our company’s financial donation, APS employees will be joining the police officers in delivering the gifts this year.
There’s truly nothing better than seeing the face of a child light up when opening a Christmas present – and there’s no better feeling than knowing we had a small part in making that happen. To participate, you can drop off a new, unwrapped toy or financial donation at the Flagstaff Police Department located at 911 E. Sawmill Road. A few items that are always popular are toy trucks and dolls.
In addition to our culture of giving at APS, we also have a very strong commitment to safety. I would be remiss if I didn’t share some safety tips as we head into the holiday season.
- It’s important to turn off holiday lights before going to sleep or leaving the house unattended and when stringing lights outside, use a dry wooden or fiberglass ladder – and be sure to stay away from overhead power lines.
- Another great option is to consider using LED (light-emitting diode) holiday lights, which run much cooler than their traditional counterparts, are less of a fire risk and use much less energy.
- If you are using a live Christmas tree, make sure to check the water level in the tree stand daily. If the tree appears to be losing a large amount of needles, or if the needles become brittle, do not turn on any electrical lights used for decorations. The heat from the lights could cause a fire.
Finally, from our APS family to yours, we hope you will join us in bringing extra smiles to children in Northern Arizona and wish you a joyous and safe holiday season.
By Janet Dean
Janet Dean is the Community Affairs Manager for APS.