NEW THIS MORNING: Bend Fire’s Santa Express Begins

Bend Fire and Rescue’s annual Christmas Food Drive, known as Santa’s Express, is kicking off Monday night and will run through Thursday evening. Each year, firefighters decorate an engine and, working with the Salvation Army, drive (and walk) slowly through pre-designated neighborhoods, so residents can bring out non-perishable food, toys and warm clothing for needy families.

Santa Claus also comes along for the ride, in his sleigh. Firefighters, their families and community groups will walk alongside the engine and the sleigh, receiving donations and spreading good cheer. Tonight, the Girl Scouts are assisting the firefighters.

The program description and route maps are located on the City of Bend website
( https://www.bendoregon.gov/santaexpress ). If you do not live on the routes, you can donate at any fire station or at all Starbucks stores. You can also call Bend Fire and Rescue at 541-322-6300 for more information.

Bend Fire and Rescue is grateful to those who volunteer and all the community members and organizations who donate or assist us with this worthy cause. Without your help and generosity, many needy families would have a tougher time this winter.