Communities, Fire Department team up for Holiday help


Communities at Oshkosh North, Contributor

For the 22nd year, the firefighters of the Oshkosh Fire Department, Oshkosh Police Fire Equipment and their families are once again organizing the Oshkosh Food and Toy Drive.  In the last 10 years, this drive has collected over 35,000 lbs of food, over 21,000 toys and nearly $20,000 in monetary donations.  The new toys and food collected are given to the Oshkosh Salvation Army which then distributes them to families in the Oshkosh Area.  The monetary donations are used to fund this drive and other fundraising events throughout the year. Funds are also collected to support the Gary Kassube Scholarship which awards two Oshkosh Area students pursuing a career in firefighting.

This year’s pandemic has caused the Oshkosh Fire Department to change how they collect the food, toys and monetary donations.  In previous years, each station and Santa would drive through the neighborhoods on five designated nights.  This year, the Oshkosh Fire Department has organized a contactless drive thru format in the parking lot west of Station 15 on Ceape Street, which is across from the Oshkosh Convention Center.  Supporters of this event can drive thru between 5:30-7:30 pm on December 3rd, 7th, or 9th.  Supporters can also bring their donations to any Oshkosh fire station which will have a blue bin outside.  Donations will be accepted until December 9th.

To find out more information, the Oshkosh Food and Toy Drive is on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.  The 9th and 10th graders of the Communities at Oshkosh North program are proud to be creating awareness posts on these social media platforms.  Information can also be found on the Communities Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

In 2018, the United Way ALICE study pinpointed that 4 out of 10 households in Oshkosh struggle to meet their basic needs.  The COVID pandemic has obviously brought even more financial stress to many families in the Oshkosh Area. The Oshkosh Fire Department and the Communities at Oshkosh North Program hope this change of format will make the community comfortable and confident to continue their strong support of this drive.


Communities is an interdisciplinary, project-based program at Oshkosh North High School offering students a unique way to learn English, social studies, and leadership content and skills. Communities students investigate and engage in community problems through collaboration with businesses, organizations, and members of the community in an effort to provide authentic learning experiences while improving the local, national, and global community.