LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — You can’t have Thanksgiving without a little football.
Manheim Township Fire Rescue (MTFR) and the Manheim Township Police Department (MTPD) took to the gridiron for the first annual Turkey Bowl for Toys for Tots and food drive.
“We said, 'hey, let's get together, bring in the holiday season [on] Thanksgiving morning," MTFR Chief Scott Little said. "[We] have a little flag football competition with our township, police and fire, but [we're] also giving back through our nonperishable food drive today, and also our Toys for Tots drive."
"Some of the people that are here today brought some food and toys," MTPD officer Mark Wiczkowski said.
Serving the community is at the core of their day-to-day work. Little says this is just another way to continue that mission.
"There's always going to be the continuous need in our community during the holiday season, times are tough and it's our little bit that we can give back," Little said.
It was also a chance to bring first responders together.
"We do a lot of the community drives, where we're trying to help the community out," Wiczkowski said. "But this was an opportunity for us to get together as two different departments."
Though comradery between the two departments is strong, it couldn't completely stop some smack talk.
"Police always like to joke about fire, you know, they get to sleep for 23 hours of the day," Wiczkowski said.
By the end of the game, the box was full of toys and food to be donated. But for those who couldn't make it out today, the community still has time to give.
"Our department does its Toys for Tots drive for the next couple of weeks into the middle of December," Wiczkowski said. "We also work with Manheim Township School District [for] a toy drive for some of their school district students."
"[At] every Manheim Township fire station and also police headquarters we have the bins for Toys for Tots," Little said. "We're also accepting food for the nonperishable food drive.”
Donations are being collected through Dec. 17.