LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Firefighters, community rally to help family in need

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As many U-B readers know, on Dec. 21 the city of Walla Walla Fire Department with assistance from Fire District 4 responded to a structure fire on Figueroa Street. A family of three lost almost all of its personal belongings, as well as Santa's stash of gifts for the 5-year-old daughter.

To lose a home is unbearable enough, but to lose a home around a holiday full of giving and happiness is absolutely devastating. On Dec. 22 the city of Walla Walla firefighters set out to try to bring Christmas back to this family.

The intent was to round up some money around the coffee table that morning and buy a few gifts to deliver to the family. What actually happened that day is what is amazing.

We proceeded that morning to Shopko to start the shopping effort for the little girl. As we were looking through various clothing items and in search of a stuffed animal, a man approached with his hand out holding $20 and said, "I overheard your conversation, and what you are doing is great. I want to help you out."

We were all very stunned by this gentleman's gesture, but it didn't stop there! Throughout our shopping adventures many more individuals walked up to us and asked if they could help as well. The donations ranged anywhere from $20 up to $100!

In a time of economic hardship, it is amazing how many people are still willing to sacrifice their hard-earned money to complete strangers who are truly in need. I felt this could not go unrecognized and those anonymous individuals as well as Shopko, Forward Clothing Store, City Slickers Spa and Salon and Macy's deserve acknowledgement for their donations.

A day before, amongst this family was sadness and the feeling of unknown, but then a smile and joy were restored, just as Christmas should be. I know I speak for the entire Walla Walla Professional Firefighters when I express appreciation to those who were able to help bring Christmas back to this family. We are truly privileged to be serving a great community.

Eric Wood

secretary, Walla Walla Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 404

Walla Walla

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