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Helping Others - Firefighters Bring True Joy on Christmas Eve

Post Date:12/27/2018 10:00 AM

 Barnes family and firefighters in front of Weston fire truck

On the evening of December 21st, Weston fire rescue crews responded to a vehicle fire that engulfed the car and completely destroyed all of the personal belongings, car seats and Christmas gifts inside belonging to single parent Rebecca Barnes and her children. Fortunately, no one was hurt.  Rebecca had just arrived from out of town with her three young daughters, Piper, 9, Finley, 7, and Ever, 5 to visit her sister and all the belongings were still in the vehicle. Firefighters who spoke with mom said she was most distraught about the loss of the children's car seats.                                                                                                                                     Seven employees of the Bonaventure Walgreen's store with gifts they donated

The firefighters hatched a plan to turn tragedy into joy on Christmas Eve.  A few calls were made to BSO and City staff and frowns were about to be turned upside down.   One call to Harvest Drive organizer Renee Herman and instantly gift cards for food were provided and a promise of clothing for the children.  One call to Walgreen's Director of Pharmacy and Retail Operations Pattie Sanchez and Bonaventure Boulevard Walgreen's Manager Ana Larkin and staff stepped right in to provide eight gift bags customized by age and filled with toys, toiletries and goodies for each child and mom.   

Children getting Christmas gifts from firefightersNext, Fire Union Local 4321 provided gift cards for car seats and gifts.  BSO Weston Fire Safety Educator Melanie Brocato immediately came in from her vacation and went out and purchased the needed car seats and items for the children.

All gifts were then delivered via firetruck on Christmas Eve where the children were thrilled and mom and the neighbors were speechless and overwhelmed with the response from the Weston community.  Fire Chief Todd Draizin said, "as happy as the kids were, the firefighters got more out of this than the kids did."                                                                                                             

Yes, it truly is better to give than to receive... 



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