Firefighters shop for sponsored families

Members of Tillsonburg Fire Association and their families went shopping Monday night for six families they are sponsoring for Christmas. Money was raised through the annual Steak Barbecue in September and donations from numerous businesses and associations. (Chris Abbott/Tillsonburg News) jpg, TN

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Eighteen local firefighters and their families went shopping Monday night for a good cause.

“It’s a very good year, I think this is our best turnout,” said Pat Stephenson, president of the Tillsonburg Fire Association, shopping at Walmart with his family. “Lots of people.”

The Firefighter Association is sponsoring six families this year, purchasing toys, clothes, food and necessary items to give to the families for Christmas. Five of the families were selected with a reference from St. Vincent de Paul, and one through their own contact.

“Most of the families have three or four kids, and ages from one-and-a-half to 18 years old. The older kids can be a little bit more of a challenge to shop for… but it’s a good challenge.”

Funds for the sponsorship project come mainly from their annual Steak Barbecue at the Tillsonburg Community Centre in September. Donations were also made by Dollar Tree, Tillsonburg Fire Communicators, Tillsonburg District Real Estate Board, and Fitness 21. Sobey’s donates a Christmas meal to each of the families.

“We’re probably up to $5,000, that’s what we’re allotting,” said Stephenson, who noted they are having discussions about donating some of the funds to other families or to other charities (eg. Women’s Shelter).

“It’s definitely a team effort,” said Stephenson.

The firefighters will be shopping at Sobeys Wednesday night and they hope to deliver the Christmas packages this weekend, just in time for Christmas next week.