The Skiatook Fire Department showed that the true meaning of a Christmas isn’t wrapped in pretty paper or bows. The firefighters showed Christmas is all about giving to families who need it most, such as the Autry family.
Early Christmas morning, the Skiatook Fire Department unloaded a truck full of gifts. They had everything such as bikes, bears, and gift cards. They gave them all of them to mother Angel Autry, with no strings attached. She tells News On 6 the moment was very emotional for her.
“My children lost their father, and this is their first Christmas without their father, and now their Christmas is being rewritten on a positive note thanks to some amazing people,” said Autry.
It was all made possible by firefighter Brennan Cantu. He had the idea and his fellow firemen and members of the community donated $7,000 towards the gifts.
“I got up at 4 a.m. and I couldn’t wait to get to work,” Cantu said. “Christmas is what it’s all about. Having fun and surprising people. A lot of kids didn’t know we were coming, so it’s even better. It was very rewarding.”
With gifts in tow, the fire department spread Christmas cheer to families all over Skiatook – like Chad Will and his six children and lost everything in Hurricane Harvey and a recent house fire.
“The kids were not going to have much of a Christmas this year, and the Skiatook community really stepped up and showed us what the spirit of Christmas is meant to be about and came together as one family,” said Will.
Graycee Will is the oldest daughter and received a bike from the fire department. She said she has been wanting a new one since her old one was destroyed in the hurricane.
“It’s a huge blessing to me because it shows people do care about me. It’s not just my parents, it’s people in the community,” said Gaycee.
With each smile and laugh, this fire department showed Green County that the best gifts of all don’t come in a box.
“I didn’t have a money goal set aside, it happened out of nowhere,” said Cantu. “It was meant to be what it turned out to be. It was pretty exciting and seeing the looks on the kids’ faces was priceless.”
The Skiatook Fire Department plans to raise even more money next year with a fundraising event so they can give out plenty more gifts.