Galvez-Lake Fire Department adopts families for Christmas

Logan Ridenour
Santa drives through neighborhoods handing out candy canes, Dec. 18. The Galvez-Lake Fire Department was collecting donations for their annual Christmas fundraiser.

The Galvez-Lake Fire Department adopted three families for Christmas this year. Ten children will receive gifts and a holiday meal, thanks to volunteer firefighters and members of the community.

For 12 nights this month Santa, Mrs. Claus, and firefighters from the Galvez-Lake Fire Department drove through communities in the area, playing music and handing out candy canes.

Many citizens donate food and toys during this time to go toward the selected families. Santa also accepted letters from younger citizens in anticipation of the upcoming holiday.

The three families that were adopted were recommended to the fire department through the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office.

Once Galvez-Lake receives this recommendation, they reach out to the families in November for their wish lists and information. Then, in the first week of December they begin the caroling process.

The fire department has been running this program for about ten years, and it appears to have become a tradition for many while bringing neighbors together.

"The neighbors seem to get together more. While they're waiting they will talk. So we see that as a positive thing," Karen James, an Assistant Fire Chief and the EMS Coordinator for Galvez-Lake Fire Department said.

After they receive the donations and fulfill the wish lists, the parents will pick up the gifts. James says they are always very grateful and surprised at the amount of food and gifts they receive.

"We tell them whenever Galvez-Lake adopts a family, we'll adopt them for the whole shebang," she said.

After everything is done, local churches will pick up excess food. The Sheriff's Office picks up the remaining toys for other families in need.

"Whatever we collect, it goes back out," James said. Any remaining monetary donations are put away for next year.