First responders come together to give back in memory of Yadira Arroyo
For some, the holiday season without a loved one can bring back painful memories. As a way of honoring one of their own – the First Responders Children’s Foundation has partnered with local first responders to give back to the community.
More than 1,000 Bronx residents gathered with their children Saturday alongside FDNY, NYPD, and medical first responders to provide free toys for local children in memory of Yadira Arroyo.
"Kids are starting to realize our first responders are everyday heroes,” said Jillian Crane, president of First Responders Children’s Foundation. “They are the heroes in our community."
Arroyo, a former NYPD EMT and mother of five tragically lost her life back in 2017 after a man highjacked her ambulance while she was on the job and proceeded to run her over with it. Crane called Arroyo's work the ultimate sacrifice.
"I think that first responders need to be highlighted every day of the year,” Crane added.
"We want to give to the community that she served for so many years and that she loved," said Ali Acevedo-Hernandez, Arroyo's aunt. "What better way to keep her memory alive then bringing in the children."
The toy drive also saw some special guests make an appearance. Arroyo’s aunt and uncle played Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus, helping hand out nearly 15,000 toys.