The crew from County Fire Station 23, (from left) Fire Engineer Mark Spehar, Firefighter Jon Strouse and Capt. Jim Carlstrom, places the Spark of Love boxes during Saturday’s Tree Lighting Ceremony. Photo by Riverside County Volunteer Reserve Photographer Ed Sherman

For almost 20 years, CAL FIRE and Riverside County Fire Department, in conjunction with ABC-7 and other local sponsors, have collected and distributed toys with a goal to ensure that children in need have a gift to unwrap during the holiday season.

“These are tough times, but people came through for us last year and I hope they can do better this year," said Firefighter Mark Spehar, Idyllwild resident and Station 23 firefighter. “We still have many families in need.”

Riverside County firefighters need help in spreading holiday cheer in the hearts of underprivileged children through the Spark of Love Toy Drive. They ask for donations of new, unwrapped toys or sports equipment.

Each and every fire station is a drop-off location. All toys, sports equipment and gift cards that are donated are distributed to children in the communities in which they were donated.

Donations are accepted and appreciated at your neighborhood fire stations, including Station 23 in Pine Cove and the Idyllwild Fire Station, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. until Dec. 23.

If you have additional question or need more information please refer to our website at