Season of Wishes: Firefighters raise money for children at Christmas time

Published 11:57 pm Thursday, December 13, 2018


NATCHEZ —Natchez Fire Department officials say they believe every child deserves to have a Christmas, but not every family in the community has the means to give their children the Christmas they deserve.

Once a year, locals have the opportunity to fill a fireman’s boots with enough to give those families a merry Christmas, too.

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Recently, a dozen firemen lined the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. and Main streets with their empty boots outstretched for donations, said Lola Knight, administrative assistant of the Natchez Fire Department.

“We call it ‘A Firefighters Christmas for Kids,’” Knight said. “We do a boot drive to raise funds once a year, but those who couldn’t give out of pocket right then can drop off donations a the station (near the intersection of Main and Martin Luther King Jr. streets.) We take non-perishable items, such as toys clothes and monetary donations.”

Knight said she has been a part of A Firefighters Christmas for the past four years, but the tradition precedes her. Every year, the department helps as many children as possible to receive gifts of toys, pajamas, clothes and food with whatever funds are raised.

“We try to help as many as we can with the funds that we have,” Knight said. “There’s a great need in our community. We do ask that those who apply with us do not ask for help from any other charity, such as Catholic Charities or the Angel Tree. … We try to give everyone a chance to receive something.”

Families in need can fill out applications to be eligible to benefit from A Firefighters Christmas between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. today at the Natchez Fire Department, Knight said.

“We want people to be truthful, and we don’t judge,” Knight said. “There are plenty of working parents who cannot afford to pay for anything this Christmas but their bills. … If I know personally that kids were involved in a fire, we will reach out to that family, too. … We appreciate the citizens who contribute to help grant wishes for these kids. We want everyone to have a merry Christmas.”

For additional information, Knight said to contact her at 601-442-3684.