The North Bellmore Fire Department, based at 1500 Newbridge Rd.,...

The North Bellmore Fire Department, based at 1500 Newbridge Rd., protects an area of 4.3 square miles, according to its website. (April 2, 2012) Credit: Nicole Bartoline

The North Bellmore Fire Department is hosting a holiday toy drive for families affected by superstorm Sandy on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

New, unwrapped toys for all ages can be dropped off at the department’s district office, 1500 Newbridge Rd., at those times. The department will make its main push for toys Sunday, but it will still have staff there to accept donations 24/7 through Christmas Day.

Although North Bellmore wasn’t hit as hard as the coastal communities surrounding it, the department  organized clothing and food drives in November to help Island Park and Long Beach.

“Seeing what they were going through and how much people lost, we thought to do a toy drive to help out the communities again,” said North Bellmore volunteer firefighter Eric Thilesen, who is coordinating the event. “People lost everything in their homes. Families were in bad shape, so we decided to help out the best we could.”

Thilesen is confident that the drive will be a success, and if there is an excess of toys, the department plans to distribute them to fire departments within affected communities throughout Long Island.

“Our main concern is Nassau County,” said Thilesen, 36, of Bellmore, who is secretary to North Bellmore Assistant Fire Chief Mark Collins. “But if we do have excess toys to give out we would branch out to Suffolk County or the Rockaways.”

For more information, contact the fire department at 516-409-4701 or

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