Capt. Paul Neumann leads his crew in bringing boxes of clothes to F.O.R. Maricopa. Photo by Kyle Norby

A Maricopa food bank received a large donation from the Maricopa Fire/Medical Department in the form of winter clothing.

Engine Company 574 drove to the food bank and donated a total of 350 jackets and sweaters for F.O.R. Maricopa, with Engine Capt. Paul Neumann leading the effort. Neumann received the clothing from multiple elementary schools in the Peoria Unified School District.

“Some of the schools have lost and found, and they really don’t have the outlet for what to do with them,” Neumann said. “My kids go to school in Peoria, so I was like, ‘If you have no needs from right now, I’ve got a community that can use all these.’”

Neumann said he has been picking up clothes from the schools for a few years now, previously bringing them to a crisis center. The school notifies parents and children of lost-and-found items and after an adequate amount of time to retrieve your found items, the school notifies them that the clothing will be donated.

“The ladies at the front office have partnered with me to be the point to pick up,” Neumann said.

F.O.R Maricopa founder Wendy Webb expressed her happiness with the long-time support from the Maricopa Fire Department.

“We love our fire department; they’re amazing. They’ve always been strong supporters of us, and we couldn’t do what we do without all our volunteers and all of our amazing supporters,” Webb said.

“We are proud of our crews for taking the time to give back to the community,” Deputy Fire Chief Brad Pitassi said. “This was a project they took on by themselves and their efforts will improve the lives of those in need of a little extra support this winter.”

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