Santa arrives to the 2018 Miracle on Broad St. in a Victoria firetruck, Dec. 14. (Jesse Laufer / News staff)

Greater Victoria firefighters reflect on season of giving

‘It’s amazing to get those hugs and see the tears of joy in the parents’ eyes’

Firefighters from across the region teamed up to cap-off 2018’s big charitable events.

Waiting for Santa to arrive for the finale of Miracle on Broad Street Dec.14, firefighters from Victoria, Esquimalt, Oak Bay and Saanich reflected on why they give.

“I just think if you have the time to give back you should,” said Esquimalt firefighter Kahill Homes.

READ MORE: Firefighters across the region swing into the giving season

“As firefighters I think we’re very fortunate in our communities for the jobs that we have, and the communities that we live in,” added Victoria Fire’s Ajay Leblanc. “We’re exposed every day to some of the people who are less fortunate, and so why wouldn’t step up and give back our time and try to fundraise some funds to help brighten somebody else’s day?”

Brian Swanson, director of Saanich Fire’s Charitable Foundation says most of the philanthropic work done by Victoria firefighters is targeted at children and youth within each community. However, the annual Santas Anonymous fundraiser adds a more personal touch.

“This one we get to put a face on when we’re doing deliveries, put a face to the gifts and the time and the effort we put in on our own time,” Swanson said.

“We do things throughout the year,” agreed Jason Hodge, executive director of the Oak Bay Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation. “Especially at Christmas time, it comes down to some people are less fortunate. If you’ve got any extra money, why not donate it to a great cause?”

READ MORE: Christmas comes early to Willows Elementary

Santa left the deer at home choosing to arrive for the Miracle on Broad Street in a firetruck. After a quick photo op, the four firefighters made their way inside to work the phone lines. Firefighters have always been a part of Santas Anonymous in Victoria, and this year donated $15,000 during the Miracle on Broad Street event. Although for Leblanc – also vice-president of Santas Anonymous – this particular philanthropic endeavour began before he joined the department.

“Santas Anonymous has been something my family’s done since I was a kid,” Leblanc said. “It’s amazing to get those hugs and see the tears of joy in the parents’ eyes, knowing that they can provide Christmas to their kid.”



jesse.laufer@oakbaynews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Firefighters pose with Santa before donating $15,000 to the 2018 Miracle on Broad St, Dec. 14. (Jesse Laufer / News staff)

Just Posted

VIDEO: Annual Tuba Christmas concert draws large crowd to Market Square

Over 100 tuba and euphonium players gathered to play festive tunes

Revisit Christmas past as Point Ellice House displays Victorian-era traditions

Antique bobbles, cards, decor and more are on display

Bold and brassy quintet touches down at UVic

Internationally recognized Canadian Brass performing with Victoria Symphony on Dec. 21

Saanich church kicks off holidays with peaceful Winter Solstice service

St. Luke’s song-filled Christmas services come later

West Shore Parks and Rec staff member injury raises concerns about cut-through traffic

WSPR says staff member ‘seriously injured’ while monitoring scheduled closure

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Most Read