Lubbock Firefighters Spread Holiday Cheer With Andrew's Mission Toy Drive

For the second year, the Lubbock Fire Department spread holiday cheer at Covenant Children's Hospital with the Andrew's Mission Toy Drive. KLBK's Michaela MacDonald has the story.
By Michaela MacDonald

LUBBOCK, TX -- Firefighters brought in hundreds of toys to brighten up Christmas for children in the hospital, all in memory of a special little boy named Andrew. It was all part of Andrew's Mission Toy Drive, started in memory of Andrew Villereal.

"We put this all together so that the kids here at the hospital would be able to get a toy at Christmas and we just want to put some smiles on their faces," said Cody Buck with the Lubbock Fire Department.

Andrew was born with a serious heart condition and went through many surgeries during his young life. It was Andrew's dream to be a firefighter and serve others. He left his mark on the Lubbock Fire Department.

"Andrew was a very special little boy. He loved coming up and hanging out with us at the fire station and we just adored him when he'd come up there. And he will live on in our memories, and we just want to amke that a memory for everybody else," said Buck. 

Andrew's Mom Sasha Downing says having the fire department's support in this drive means so much.

"There are no words to describe how special it is. They go above and beyond to make this day happen and I am grateful, very grateful for it," said Downing.

Downing and the firemen visited families like the McGills, spending their holiday in the hospital.

"A lot of this is not planned, for us to be here on Christmas Eve or Christmas day even, and just to see the smile on his face whenever that gift, toy was brought into him helps out quite a bit," said Joe McGill, with his son Braden.

Downing says she want's to expand Andrew's Mission to help families pay for hospital bills.

"We are actually going to start a foundation this next year so we will be able to accept cash donations to help special kids, and we will gladly accept any toys throughout the year," said Downing.

To learn more about Andrew's Mission, visit: https://www.facebook.com/AndrewsMissionLubbock

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