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

Saanich man charged in cross-border drug smuggling operation pleads guilty

William Milton Barnes was charged following a six-month joint investigation

Advanced polls see 29 per cent increase in voter turn out from 2015

Some 4.7 million people took part, says Elections Canada

Everything you need to know before getting the flu shot

Local pharmacist shares concerns, recommendations before flu season hits

Victoria’s Ultimate Toy Fair bounces back into Pearkes

The family-friendly event runs Oct. 19-20 at Pearkes

Oak Bay win first Bridgman Cup since 1973

Annual UVic event is an indicator for coming South Island finals, Island finals and provincials

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Pot use admission at U.S. border snagging Canadian boomers, says lawyer

A waiver to enter the U.S. can cost $2,000 and isn’t a guarantee

Health concerns over vaping cast haze over Canadian cannabis market expansion

More than 1,000 people in the United States, and a handful in Canada, have developed a lung ailment

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

Most Read