by Lisa Tome
Saving lives and property isn't enough for the North East Fire Company.
For Christmas this year, the company members adopted a family to help. One member of the family is battling stage four cancer and there is a need.
They gathered detailed wish lists from the children ages 10, 8, and 5. The wish lists included the children's favorite colors, favorite sports teams, and more. Company members divided up the lists and signed up to provide items. The family will receive dinner, clothes, and toys, including bicycles for the children.
Some NEFC members opted not to buy gifts but instead donated cash and wrapping supplies. Most of the company members helped in some way, explained the chief - from the new members to the seasoned veteran fire police.
Fire Chief Steve Piatelli explained why the volunteers wanted to help.
"We ask all year for donations and help. Now it's our turn to return a little to help out a family in need for the holidays," said the chief.
Piatelli said that fire officers Gary Tagmyer and Mike Miller brought the idea of helping a family in need to the company. Tagmyer is a past chief of Darlington Fire Company and suggested the idea of helping to North East. The company also approached their chaplain, Phil Meekins, who helped find the North East family in need.
Two days before Christmas, the fire company members, and Santa Claus will deliver the items to the family.
"We hope to make it annual. That would be nice. We've gotten a lot of support," said Piatelli. "You always think you have it bad, and you meet someone who is way worse off."