People often see firefighters as every day heroes, battling flames and saving lives, but firefighter Brennan Cantu is showing his power through giving.
"It brings more joy to me for Christmas than getting a present myself," said Cantu.
News On 6 was there the moment Cantu gave a Walmart gift card of $100 to Skiatook resident Angel Autry. Autry said she has fallen on hard times this year, which makes a simple gift go a long way.
"That’s going to be a blessing. To see smiles on (my kids’) faces where they haven't had any smiles,” said Autry.
Cantu said this is all part of his mission to spread his own love for giving through all of Skiatook.
"I've been able to give to kids on Christmas, and then I've had to take presents out of the house because the house caught on fire. If you can brighten somebody's day then let’s do it," said Cantu.
He said he has given anonymous gifts to strangers for years. This year he got his whole department on board. Cantu said he started out donating $300, then the fire department added $1,000. With community support, it became over $5,000.
All the donations totaled enough to pay for 22 layaways at Walmart and other toys and gift cards.
"I don't think anybody expected this to blow up as big as it’s gotten, but I hope it gets bigger and I challenge every fire department to do it," said Cantu.
Autry said she hopes to give her family plenty of presents under the Christmas tree and give some money to charity. She said Christmas was a day she once dreaded but now can’t wait until it arrives.
"This year of all years for them to end on a happy note like this, makes this mom happy," said Autry.
The Skiatook Fire Department will be giving more gifts to families on Christmas and Cantu said he hopes the department makes this an annual tradition.