FAIRFIELD — The Stevie Wonder song, “I Wish,” contains a line about Christmas that states, “even though we sometimes wouldn’t get a thing.”
The collaborative effort of different city of Fairfield departments, including Community Services, the Fire Department and Police Department, working through the city’s Fun on the Run program, ensured that line didn’t apply to as many Fairfield children as possible.
Fun on the Run volunteers, police officers, firefighters and other city officials traveled to three different neighborhoods throughout Fairfield this week to deliver a burst of Christmas spirit to children that might not otherwise experience the sort of Christmas joy most take for granted.
“What Fun on the Run is all about is serving children and this event is right in line with that goal,” said Fairfield Community Services Foundation board president Nancy Hopkins.
“I don’t know another city that has such a program,” said Fairfield Mayor Harry Price. “It’s really a remarkable event . . . what a difference it’s making in the community.”
Fun on the Run is an after-school recreation and nutrition program operated by the city and funded through the Fairfield Community Services Foundation. It takes programs to various neighborhoods throughout the city and targets children 4 to 12 years of age.
The holiday event has expanded to serve even more children this year, as many as 1,400, Hopkins said.
“For many of the kids, this is not only the only Christmas present they might get but it might also be the only toy they receive all year,” she said.
While the need is big, the generosity – from local businesses to private individuals throughout the community – is big enough to meet that need.
“It’s really great that we have such amazing companies that would step up and help like this,” said Tammie Richardson of Fairfield, who was at the event with both her own children and with her daughter’s children. “It really means a lot to the kids and to know they’re going to be able to enjoy Christmas like a kid should means a lot.”
The families being served by the event often find themselves at a point of need for a variety of reasons, from low-income families who simply can’t afford to buy presents for their children, to families suffering through a loss of wages for myriad reasons, to some taking on additional children because the parents were hospitalized, incarcerated or are otherwise not in the picture, Richardson said.
But the key, she said, was that an event like this demonstrates that there are people who care and that there is a reason to continue to hope for things to get better.
One such child has grown up and now serves children who are in his former position.
“I was one of these kids once,” said Lorin Adams, a Fairfield firefighter and paramedic who grew up in Fairfield himself. “This is awesome,” Adams said of the event.
Firefighters often interact with people in times of injury or sickness, but they also often are called into people’s homes and can see first-hand the need different children live in.
“An event like this really allows us to give back and make sure kids in those conditions are taken care of,” Adams said.
The children themselves picked out the toy of their choice and most wasted no time putting it to good use – from molding pieces of art out of Play-Doh to showing some firefighters a few of their best football moves.
The magic of the event might not be on par with “A Miracle on 34th Street,” but for the children who were the benefactors of some Christmas cheer and generosity, a Miracle on the Corner of First Street and Kentucky Street has just as sweet a ring to it.
Source: Daily Republic