You're Too Kind, Firefighters Say, Truly Meaning It

The New York City Fire Department is asking for help:

Please stop sending stuff.

Don't get them wrong. The department wants everyone to know that it is grateful for the nation's overwhelming generosity. After 343 firefighters died in the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, people sent statues, rakes, teddy bears, letters, paintings, crystal flags, ceramic flowers, painted eggs, pennies, books, shovels, megaphones, sculptures and socks.

But the department is running out of storage space.

At first, it stored the gifts pouring in from around the country in three rooms on the eighth floor of its headquarters at 9 Metrotech Center on Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. The rooms quickly filled up. Then the department put the gifts in two donated storage containers