Oakland Firefighters Random Acts had a very busy and giving 2015 Holiday Season. Oakland Firefighters delivered over 1,000 gift-wrapped presents to children in need in Oakland who otherwise may not have had a very merry Christmas. Firefighters playing Santa Claus and Santa’s Reindeer distributed gift-wrapped toys to six Head Start programs, the Brighter Beginnings teen parenting program, the Ariel Outreach Mission transitional housing shelter, and the East Oakland Boxing Association after-school program. Random Acts responded to all the ‘Letters to Santa’ and ‘Letters to Firefighters’ that children dropped off at Oakland fire stations and fulfilled all the requests from families that contacted a fire station for assistance because they could not afford to buy toys for their children. Some families needed more than just toys and were generously adopted by people who fulfilled their needs for clothing and other necessities. Thank you to all of our toy donors who participated in the Oakland Firefighters Random Acts Holiday Toy Drive. Thank you to our volunteers who helped giftwrap the toys and adopted families. And, thank you to the Oakland Firefighters who delivered the bags of presents to the family’s houses on their fire engines to the surprise of many happy children. Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces as they opened their presents makes all the hard work worthwhile.
OFD Station 13 delivers Santa Claus
OFD Station 20 delivers toys to the Ariel Outreach Mission
transitional housing shelter
OFD Station 20 delivers toys to children at Head Start
OFD Station 20 delivers toys to children at Head Start
OFD Station 17 delivers toys to children at Head Start
OFD Station 29 delivers toys to children at Head Start
OFD Station 29 delivers toys to children at Head Start program
OFD Station 13 delivers toys to children at Brighter Beginnings
teen parenting program
OFD Station 13
OFD Station 20 delivers toys to children at the
East Oakland Boxing Association after-school program
OFD Station 20 Firefighters
OFD Station 15 Firefighters delivers toys to Kaiser Hospital Oakland
Firefighters from OFD Station 15 prepare Santa Chris Salas
to visit patients in the ICU at Kaiser Hospital
Firefighter Chris Salas plays Santa Claus and brings smiles
to patients in the Pediatric Unit at Kaiser Hospital Oakland
Oakland Firefighters Random Acts, in partnership with Chabot Space & Science Center and the East Bay Astronomical Society, recently made four (4) Random Acts of Science presentations at Hoover Elementary, Acorn-Woodland Elementary, RISE Community School & New Highland Academy, and the Boys & Girls Club in Oakland. The presentations were partially funded by a Super Bowl 50 Fund grant. Here are some photos from these Random Acts of Science presentations to bring astronomy and STEM education to under-served neighborhoods in Oakland.
For more information on Random Acts of Science, go to:
Random Acts of Science trailer
Chabot Space & Science Center portable planetarium
East Bay Astronomical Society telescope viewing
OFD Station 3 fire crew delivered school kits with school supplies to the Oakland Youth Aspire organization in West Oakland. Some happy kids ready for school.
The fire crews at Station 16 were on a camping trip in Livermore, CA when they met the Godinez Family who was camping next to them. Mom was raising four (4) daughters by herself and, at the moment, lived in a 2-bedroom apartment with her in-laws. Mom and the girls shared a bed in one bedroom. Thus, the camping trip and need for some space. The crew learned that the family’s apartment on 98th & Bancroft in Oakland was burned up in a fire a few months back, and the family lost almost all that they had. They were in need of basic school supplies, uniform clothes for the upcoming school year, shoes, underwear, personal hygiene supplies, and more. The Firefighters were very impressed with the family for their selflessness and good hearts and really wanted to help them out, so they submitted a request to Random Acts. On August 10th, the Godinez family visited Station 16 and were showered with gifts including backpacks with school supplies, bikes, skateboards, scooters, roller skates, toys and stuffed animals. Mom received some toiletries and a $500 Walmart gift card to purchase school uniforms and other necessities. The response was emotional, tearful and grateful from a family that inspired everyone with their smiles and remained positive and cheerful during a very difficult time. Thank you guys at 16 for your Random Act of Kindness. Nice going.
Jonathan is a 20 year-old young adult male who is battling cancer and has maintained a positive attitude during his fight. What seems to be driving him throughout this tumultuous process is his passion for music. Jonathan, loves to make and produce music, however he didn’t possess all the necessary tools to fully explore his passion. He’s talked about how he could create good sounds if he had a computer and the music production software to make the music he loves and enjoys. Jonathan also had a long standing childhood dream to ride on a fire truck. Jonathan’s social worker at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland contacted Oakland Firefighters Random Acts for help. We partnered together with IAFF Local 55 and Oakland Black Firefighters Association to purchase a laptop computer with music production software. Jonathan and his social worker had lunch at Station 20 and went for a ride on the fire truck. Then, Jonathan extinguished the candles on his birthday cake with a CO-2 canister. Thank you to Local 55 and OBFFA for your contribution and to OFD Fire Station 20 for your gracious hospitality!
Oakland Firefighters from Station 26, B shift, responded to a 911 call at an apartment building for Faapisa Maea which, fortunately, had a good outcome. But, while attending to the call, the Firefighters noticed that there was no furniture in the apartment, and Faapisa and her daughter, Maea, were sleeping on the floor. There was no bed, no refrigerator in the kitchen, and no toys for the young girl. A member of the fire crew contacted Random Acts and requested a bed and blankets, a refrigerator, and some toys for Maea from our year-round toy supply. We met the fire crew at the Sears Outlet where the Manager was happy to help out and gave us a discount on the bed and refrigerator. Meanwhile, another Firefighter went shopping for the blankets, pillows, and sheets. When the Firefighters arrived at the apartment, Maea was so excited she was waiting outside to greet them. After the Firefighters installed the new refrigerator, Mom and daughter happily posed next to it. The smiles on their faces said it all. Maea watched as the fire crew assembled the new bed, and Mom was happy that they would get a good night’s sleep tonight. Lastly, the Firefighters opened a big bag of toys and school supplies for Maea, an added surprise which they did not expect. That was the icing on the cake.
Firefighters often arrive on a 911 call to find a family in need, and they leave them in need. This fire crew decided to do something to make a difference. And, there is a mother and daughter who is so happy that they did. Thank you Sears Outlet, and thank you Oakland Firefighters.
Oakland Firefighters Random Acts partnered with IAFF Local 55 and Oakland Black Firefighters Association to bring food, blankets, diapers, general supplies, monetary donations and a lot of LOVE to the Ariel Outreach Mission, a transitional housing shelter for women and children in East Oakland. Random Acts responds to requests from the Ariel Outreach Mission throughout the year.
17 year-old Calvin has cancer and missed his school prom at McClymonds High School because of his diagnosis. His social worker at Oakland Children’s Hospital contacted Random Acts after she did some research and found a non-profit organization called Shiri Foundation that puts on proms for kids with cancer who missed or were not able to attend their proms due to their medical condition. Random Acts got Calvin the tuxedo, the corsage for his date, and a boutonniere for his lapel. The fire crew from Station 5 delivered the tuxedo to Calvin which he had picked out, and they threw in some spending money for him out of their pockets. Black Tie Transportation donated the limousine ride to San Francisco. (Thank You Black Tie!!) This was kept a secret from Calvin because his mom wanted it to be a surprise. So, on the evening of the prom when he asked his mom how he was going to get there, she pointed to an old dilapidated pick-up truck that was parked out in front of their apartment and told him he was going in that. So, you can imagine his amazement when the shiny black stretch limousine pulled up. And, he wasn’t the only one in shock. All his neighbors we’re going crazy with excitement too because this was the first time they had ever seen a limousine in their neighborhood. Total strangers were taking pictures of Calvin and the limo. He was definitely the man of the hour, and his chauffeur drove him off in style to the prom. ABC-TV News did a story that evening about the Shiri Foundation Prom, and there was Calvin on TV dancing the night away.
Last Sunday, Capt. Bob Nylander and Station 20 responded to a classroom fire at Sobrante Park Elementary School. Today, Station 20 returned to the school to bring some gifts and some healing to the students and their teacher, Ms. Becerra, who were using a temporary classroom on their last day of school. The stuffed animals were especially healing for the children. When one of the students noticed that a teacher looked close to tears, he went up to her and said, “You look sad. I think you need a stuffed animal”. And, he gave the teacher his stuffed animal. That really brought her to tears. Random Acts fulfilled most of the items on the teacher’s Wish List for the class with things that we already had in stock – books, office supplies, canvas school bags filled with school supplies for each child, crayons, coloring books, pencils, a new office chair, a CD player, and stuffed animals. In the Fall when school opened, Random Acts took Ms. Becerra on a shopping spree to purchase the rest of the items on her Wish List.