Local fire department buys Christmas gifts for five elementary students’ families

Firefighters fulfill Christmas wishes

CATAWBA, N.C. (WBTV) - Two weeks ago, a 33-year-old single mother died in a terrible accident and left behind her two beautiful daughters.

I wrote about Chasity Spears here on Facebook, which is why Bandys Fire Department Deputy Chief Daniel Melton emailed.

He saw that post. His firefighters had responded to the wreck, he said. He wanted to know if I could connect him and his team to Chasity’s family so they could help her kids this Christmas.

That in itself is remarkable.

What’s even more remarkable is that after I connected Chief Melton to Chasity’s aunt, she graciously said though the family was touched by his request.

The community was already giving overwhelming support to the two daughters. Maybe, she suggested, the firefighters could help other kids in the area in need?

So, the Bandy’s Fire Department went to Balls Creek Elementary and worked with a guidance counselor to find families.

This past Monday they dropped off these big bags of gifts for five specific families. Due to privacy laws, the firefighters aren’t able to know the names of the kids, but one of the five families said it’d be alright to have their children meet the firefighters.

Monday night the team went to their home. They dropped the presents there in-person.

“It was nothing short of spectacular to hand-deliver gifts,” Chief Melton said. “It was amazing to watch the kids. We thought it was important to give actual gifts that are needed; not money. The kids had something to open. We watched their faces… and if that’s not Christmas, I don’t know what is.”

Most local, small fire departments are made up of volunteers. That’s the case here.

This team is buying gifts with their own money. It’s not a part of some mandate issued from the top down. These people consistently give their time as first responders, and found a way to do even more.

Chief Melton says this is actually the second year they’ve given to kids at Christmas. They found local children in need last year as well.

“This is the second year,” he said. “Now that it’s done, I can say it turned into more than we imagined. We’d like to expand in the future to involve our community more; have others help us help children in our backyards. Buying gifts for these children instead of giving money assures the charity goes directly to them.”

You never know the domino effect one thought or one email or one connection can make.

-Molly

PS: Read the original post on Chasity Spears from December 11th, here >> http://tinyurl.com/FBChasitySpears

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