Some of the 500 shiny new bikes that were wheeled into the IBEW Local 135 Union Hall at 600 W. Washington Blvd. Dec. 3 will be hitting the streets just as soon as they are presented at Christmas. Young girls will sit in front of their mirrors with the contents of gift baskets containing personal care items, deciding what helps them look their best. Thousands of other children will unwrap new toys that they received with the help of Catholic Charities and its 13th Annual Chicago Firefighters and Paramedics Toy Parade held Dec. 3. More than 150 off-duty firefighters, paramedics and their families participated in the parade that traveled from the Chicago Firefighters and Paramedics Local 2 Union Hall, at 43rd Street and Normal Avenue, to the IBEW hall. The parade carried 5,000 gifts to the union hall, where firefighters and paramedics used a “bucket brigade” to unload them. They traveled on antique and modern fire trucks, in buses and cars. Union members and their supporters have donated more than $1 million worth of toys for Catholic Charities annual “Celebration of Giving” in the parade’s 13-year history. The gifts were destined for families who have used Catholic Charities services in Cook and Lake Counties. Catholic Charities social workers were able to pick up gifts for the families they serve and, most often, give them to the parents or guardians of the children who were to receive them. That way, the children could receive in whatever way their families customarily give holiday gifts, whether under the tree or a stocking, on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. The Chicago Firefighters and Paramedics Toy Parade is a yearlong project. Catholic Charities caseworkers provide the Toy Parade organizers with basic information on thousands of children who are clients of the social service agency: their first name, age, gender and the three gifts that each child has requested. Toys are collected from every firehouse in the city of Chicago.