Weston Firefighters Spread Holiday Cheer

Santa Claus may use a sleigh, but this past year Weston BSO Firefighters delivered Christmas gifts in a shiny red fire truck.

Just a few days before Christmas, Weston fire crews responded to a vehicle fire that had engulfed the car of a single mother of three young girls, who was in town visiting relatives. The car was completely destroyed, along with all of its contents – personal belongings, car seats, and all of the family’s Christmas gifts.

The car owner, Rebecca Barnes, was distraught, especially over the loss of the car seats. The firefighters immediately stepped up, calling on the greater Weston community to help turn the family’s tragedy into Christmas joy.

Harvest Drive Founder Renee Herman provided gift cards for food, along with clothing for the girls. Walgreens Director of Pharmacy and Retail Operations Pattie Sanchez also answered the call for assistance. Ana Larkin, manager of the Walgreens on Bonaventure Boulevard, and her staff provided eight bags, customized by age, filled with toys, toiletries and goodies for Ms. Barnes and her daughters: Piper (9), Finley (7) and Ever (5).

The International Association of Fire Fighters Local 4321 heeded the call as well. BSO Weston Fire Safety Educator Melanie Brocato came in on her vacation days to purchase new car seats and gifts for the children.

On Christmas Eve, Weston Firefighters pulled up in their firetruck to the relatives’ home to deliver the donations to the Barnes family. The children were beyond excited while the adults were speechless and overwhelmed by the response from the Weston community.

Proving that it is truly better to give than receive, Weston BSO Fire Chief Todd Draizin shared, “As happy as the kids were, the firefighters got more out of this than the kids did.”