The place where the two red larger-than-life fire engines would normally sit in wait in the Lake Street Fire Station was filled instead with a mass of people Friday night assembling about 600 care packages for the city's adopted Marine battalion.
Residents, the Huntington Beach Firefighter's Assn., members of the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) and veterans in the American Legion Post 133 all gathered in the oversized garage around tables laden with cardboard boxes of individual wet wipes, candies, toothbrushes, juice mixes and snacks — all items donated by the community.
Judie Freeman, a 42-year resident, stood tearing open plastic bags filled with white cotton socks and tossing individual pairs into the shipping boxes as residents queued to fill theirs.
"Just think how excited they are for these things," Freeman said, holding up a pair of the white socks.
All the items were donated by the community and stored at the fire station, said Fire Engineer Sam Moses, a member of the Huntington Beach Firefighter's Assn.'s public relations committee. The association, which has been working with the foundation for about four years, helped spearhead the project.