Lexington firefighters help family with Christmas

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LEXINGTON, Va. (WDBJ7) “Well, it was going to be slim pickin’s,” says Amanda Hartless.

For her – single mother of two teenagers, foster Mom to a boy of 4 and girl of 5 – things were looking pretty grim under the Christmas tree.

“You gotta’ weigh out what’s more important," she explains, "And it wasn’t toys. As much as I hate to say it, toys was not the most important things.”

Until the phone rang …

“Actually, I was at work. Story of my life: I’m always at work …”

It was the fire department.

“We wanted to do something for the community," says Fireman Mike McGuire. "We’d been thinking of different ways.”

Or rather, the firefighters union along with the department.

“We just want to get out there and show that we’re just like anybody else," McGuire, who's the union local's Secretary/Treasurer. "We don’t just run in when things are going wrong, we run in when things are going right just to help out.”

And what they had in mind was solving Amanda’s present problem.
“They asked if it would be okay, you know," she remembers, "And I was like: that would be great.”

“She wanted to go to Walmart," says Dave Wheeler, President of the local union. "We all met up there, and we said we’d just be standing in the front.”

Hartless still laughs at the memory. "I wasn’t expecting all that.”

“She tried to grab the buggy," McGuire says, "And our members pushed the buggy through the Walmart for her. All she had to do was walk around and tell us what she wanted.”

And then came the delivery, Christmas morning on a fire engine.
“I know a couple of my neighbors came outside," Hartless says. "They were kinda’ worried.”

“And she actually texted me a couple days later," says Wheeler, "Saying the kids are still talking about getting in the fire truck.”

And what did the kids think about it all?
“It made a big difference,” Amanda says about their Christmas.